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Veterans lauded on 82nd Day of Valor

WAR VETERANS were lauded during the city government’s commemoration of the 82nd Araw ng Kagitingan at the Veterans Memorial Monument, Roxas Avenue on Monday, April 9.

Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte said the annual event pays tribute to the fallen heroes and veterans who showed their patriotism and even made the ultimate sacrifice throughout the 2nd world War.

“Let us honor and thank them, for it is upon their sacrifices that we can enjoy our freedom today. Let their courage, stories, and lives they lived be the foundation upon which we hold our independence, our constitution, and right to create a better future,” Duterte said during the wreath-laying ceremony. 

Duterte called the public to draw on the annual observance to instill virtues of patriotism to the younger generation for a future, worthy of the sacrifices of the fallen heroes.

The mayor, along with Task Force Davao Commander Col. Darren Comia, Tactical Operations Wing Easter Mindanao commander Bgen. Frederick M. Cutler led the offering of flowers in the monument.

Cutler, in his keynote speech as the guest speaker recounted the courage and determination of the Filipino soldiers leading to the country’s sovereignty. 

“For those of us who wanted to maintain our freedom, we must work hard to protect it or else, we are not entitled to it,” Cutler said.

“We must ensure that the memories of those who fought to preserve our nation will inspire us and the coming generation to learn the past lessons to uphold principles of freedom, liberty, justice which so many laid their lives,” he added.

World War II veteran Teofilo Gamutan and the Veteran Federation of the Philippines Sons and Daughters Association graced the event.

Gamutan has been a figure of the city as its oldest living veteran of war. He is turning 101 this year.

Eighty-two years ago today, officials in command of Bataan formally surrendered during the war against the Imperial Japanese Forces.

“Bataan has fallen, but the spirit that made it stand—a beacon to all the liberty-loving peoples of the world—cannot fall!” Lieutenant Normando Ildefonso Reyes said through a radio broadcast on April 9, 1942.

About 75,000 Filipino and American soldiers were forcibly transferred during the Bataan Death March, with more than 60,000 succumbed to exhaustion, starvation, and abuse. 

“Bataan may be miles away from Mindanao, but the significance of battles of World War 2 and the horrors that they experience must remain in our collective consciousness,” the mayor said.

This year’s commemoration is themed ” Pagpaparangal sa Kagitingan ng mga Beterano: Saligan para sa Nagkakaisang Pilipino.”


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