During my time in Taipei, I saw Taiwan’s honor guard at both the Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial and the Sun-Yat Sen Memorial, guarding the two statues of CKS and SYS respectively. Kind of like the guards at London’s Birmingham Palace, but without those silly hats.
There are three branches of the Taiwan’s army – the army, navy, and air force. And each branch has its own honor guard – white for the air force, dark blue for the air force, and camouflage greens for the army.
For the most part, the honor guard does not do much – stand to attention, look handsome, and pose for the cameras. But every hour on the dot, there’s a changing of the guard, as two guards come to replace the two previous guards. And when that happens, there’s a nice 5-10 minutes ceremony, as the current guards stand down and the replacement guards stand to attention. It reminded me of the nutcracker.
Supposedly the army has the best changing of the guard ceremony, and the air force has the worst. So of course, every time I show up at either of the memorials (5+ times), it’s always the air force on duty…
Quite a crowd gathers to watch the changing of the guard – especially tourists from mainland China. There are like, a billion mainland Chinese tourists that flock to Chiang-Kai Shek’s and Sun-Yat Sen’s memorials to watch the changing of the guard.