From the Archives
U.S. community in Taipei prays
U.S. community in Taipei prays
By ANDREW HEADLAND JR. | Stars and Stripes November 25, 1963
TAIPEI — Special prayers for the family of the late President Kennedy and for President Lyndon B. Johnson were said by tearful congregations Sunday in Catholic and Protestant churches in Taipei.
The American military and civilian community on Taiwan, deeply shocked by the tragedy, has canceled all scheduled formal social gatherings indefinitely.
The grief which swept the American community following news of Kennedy's assassination brought expressions of sympathy from Chinese who went out of their way to express condolences.
These expressions ranged from a few words on the part of waiters to customers, to President Chiang Kai-shek's message to President Lyndon B. Johnson saying that the Chinese people are "greatly shocked and grieved.
"His untimely death," Chiang's message said in part, "is a great loss to the cause of the Free World. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, I am sending my heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the American government."
President and Madame Chiang also sent a condolence message to Mrs. Kennedy.
Ambassador Jerauld Wright issued a statement stating, "All the world mourns the loss of a man who sincerely, wholeheartedly dedicated his life to the preservation of world peace. In our great sorrow, we take comfort in knowing that President Lyndon B. Johnson will carry on the cause with equal determination with the full support of our entire nation."
Vice Adm. Charles L. Nelson, commander of U.S. Taiwan Defense Command, said, ``The President's death is a tragic loss to Americans every where."
Maj. Gen. Kenneth O. Sanborn, chief, Military Assistance Advisory Group to the Republic of China, declared: "The President's tragic death is a tremendous loss not only to Americans but to the entire world."
Thomas Cardinal Tien, Catholic administrator Apolistic of Taipei, said, "We are shocked and grieved over the death of the late President Kennedy, a devout Catholic and a remarkable man in the struggle against international communism."
Cardinal Tien is to preside over a Solemn Requiem Mass at St. Christopher's Church later in the week.
Father Hugh Wilt, Hq. Support Activities chaplain, Taipei, will give the eulogy. The time and date will be announced later.
Cdr. Kermit I. Meier, senior chaplain, Hq. Support Activities Chapel, will conduct nondenominational memorial services at HSA Chapel later in the week.
Flags will be flown at half-staff over the American Embassy and: other American installations for one month. Regular entertainment prograins at all clubs have been canceled.
The American Embassy shop has been closed until further notice. Only food service facilities are open at MAAG Club 63, the U.S. Officers Open Mess, the Navy Club and other military clubs in the: Taipei area.
An official.departure-arrival reception honoring officers and their wives scheduled for Monday at the Officers Club has been canceled. Also canceled is the Officers Wives Club tour to Taroko Gorge scheduled for Dec. 7.