THE threat of Covid-19 may have kept many war veterans at home on Araw ng Kagitingan, a national holiday celebrated with wreath laying, but the pandemic did not stop 10 veterans from showing up at Cebu City’s Plaza Independencia to honor those who fought shoulder to shoulder with them during World War II.
The veterans attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Cebu Veterans Memorial marker on Friday, April 9, 2021. The ceremony was organized by the Cultural and Historial Affairs Commission (Chac).
In a message, Mayor Edgardo Labella said while bravery and love of country emanated from the heroes who fought during World War II, such bravery and valor continue even today.
Labella said this can be seen through the people working in the frontlines to help arrest the spread of the coronavirus disease.
“We see it in the many frontliners helping our community in the fight of our generation—protecting our people from a pandemic,” Labella said.
Aside from the veterans who fought in World War II, Labella mentioned Lapulapu and the heroisms of Cebuano revolutionary leaders Pantaleon “Leon Kilat” Villegas and General Arcadio Maxilom, who valiantly fought against Spain during the Philippine Revolution.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte also recognized the sacrifices of the country’s Covid-19 frontliners during the commemoration of the 79th Araw ng Kagitingan.
This year’s commemoration “is a firm reminder of the unyielding determination of the Filipino to prevail over all forms of adversity,” Duterte said in his message.
“As we continue to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, we take a moment to honor the fortitude displayed by our selfless and dedicated frontliners whose unrelenting commitment in this fight reflects the heroism of the warriors of Bataan that continues to inspire in us a greater sense of patriotism and solidarity during these trying times,” he said.
In honoring the country’s fallen soldiers, Duterte said their sacrifice “became the bedrock of our resolve to uphold our most cherished liberties.”
“May this awareness resonate among us as we strive to become worthy heirs to the nation that they fought and bled for,” he added.
The Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) commemorates the fall of Bataan in 1942 and honors Filipino and American soldiers who fought valiantly to defend their last stand against the Japanese forces.
This year’s commemoration was themed, Kagitingan ay Gawing Gabay, Pandemya ay Mapagtatagumpayan (Let valor be our guide to win against the pandemic). ( with PR )