The funeral for Captain Hsu Ta-chun, the Air Force pilot killed in the line of duty, was held on June 17 at the Air Force Academy. President Tsai Ing-wen paid her respects at the ceremony accompanied by Secretary-General of the National Security Council Koo Li-hsiung, Minister of Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng, Chief of General Staff General Chen Pao-yu, and other officials. She also presented a citation commending Capt. Hsu for his contributions and sacrifice to the defense of the nation and air space.
A very solemn and moving occasion
After the presentation of the citation, President Tsai laid a wreath at the funeral portrait, paid her respects, then delivered a eulogy commemorating Hsu’s martyrdom. Before leaving, she expressed her condolences to family members, and embraced Hsu’s mother to express her grief and respects. Air Force Commander-in-Chief Liu Jen-yuan had earlier presented Hsu with the Order of Valor and Loyalty and posthumous promotion to Captain on behalf of the President. He also presided over the very solemn commemorative and flag-draping ceremony.
President Tsai said in her speech that everyone was heartbroken when Captain Hsu Ta-chun was killed during a training flight. Today, everyone is gathered here in his memory, and would like thank Ta-chun on behalf of the nation.
President Tsai mentioned that Ta-chun’s grandfather had been an Air Force pilot. Growing up with such a role model meant Ta-chun had set his heart on becoming a fighter pilot in order to defend the country and our air space from an early age. He studied hard from Chung Cheng Armed Forces Preparatory School all the way to the Air Force Academy. He set an example to other students by striving to complete even the toughest and most demanding training.
President Tsai said that Ta-chun had a lively and cheerful personality. His responsible attitude and loyalty to his friends made him popular with his fellow cadets. Other cadets have since left messages promising to carry on his dream of flying through the skies among the clouds in defense of our national airspace. This was no doubt how they will remember Ta-chun in their own way but also representative of the Air Force spirit.
President Tsai mentioned how Ta-chun’s father still called on society to give the Air Force its support despite the grief he felt after the training accident. He also hoped that other cadets could return to the flight line as soon as possible to complete their training. In addition to thanking Mr. Hsu for his support of the Armed Forces, the President also hoped that Ta-chun’s brothers and sisters in the Air Force could all carry on his legacy no matter how hard it may seem.
President Tsai also asked the Ministry of Defense to do everything possible to support and look after Ta-chun’s family. Finally, she said to Ta-chun that “Thank you for your efforts, we will always be proud of you.” A commemoration video was played during the ceremony that covered Hsu joining the military, attending the Preparatory School and Air Force Academy, learning to fly and defend the national airspace, as well as his close relationship with his family, everyday life, and eulogies by his flight instructor. His sister also gave a speech on behalf of his father thanking the chain of command as well as search and rescue personnel for their assistance. The speech was grieving in tone but it also expressed pride Mr. Hsu’s pride in his son becoming a pilot and his death in the line of duty.
At the end of the ceremony, the Air Force ceremonial band led the family in the funeral procession. A three-volley salute was also performed by the Military Police. As Air Force officers and men stood in parade formation while the funeral processed, four AT-3 jet trainers flew overhead and performed the “Missing Man” formation as an utmost expression of respect.
Source: Youth Daily News, Ministry of Defense (June 18, 2022)