Filipinos mark Day of Valor at Nat’l WWII Memorial in Washington
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the national observance of the 76thAraw ng Kagitingan(Day of Valor) and Philippine Veterans Week (April 5-11), Filipinos in the U.S. capital held a wreath-laying ceremony April5 at the National World War II Memorial.
The Philippine Embassy, led by the Office of Veterans Affairs, and in partnership with the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilvetRep), organized the rites.
Four Filipino World War II veterans graced the ceremony – Mr. Rey Cabacar, Mr. Celestino Almeda, Mr. Potenciano Dee, and Mr. Justino Delara – along with FilvetRep officers and members led by Major General Antonio Taguba, Philippine Embassy officers and staff, veterans’ rights advocates, and members of the Filipino American community of Metro DC.
Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to the United States BGen Eric R. Calip AFP opened the program, while Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez delivered the keynote address prior to the actual wreath laying.
“As we remember the valor and sacrifice of our veterans and their fallen comrades-in-arms, we become acutely aware that there can never be an adequate expression of gratitude for their service. We will be forever grateful for this precious gift and we pledge to honor their memory by living up to the promise of a free, peaceful and civilized nation — day by day, year by year, generation by generation,” Romualdez.
Commodore Elson Aguilar, head of the Office of Veterans Affairs, also expressed appreciation to all those who supported the event, and further underscored the importance of remembering the patriotism and heroic courage of Filipino veterans during the Second World War.
Following the wreath laying ceremony a simple reception was held at the Philippine Embassy Chancery annex attended by the veterans and guests.
Earlier during the day, the Philippine Embassy also hosted a Talakayan sa Pasuguan (town hall meeting) featuring LTGEN Rolando Bautista AFP, current Commanding General of the Philippine Army, who presented updates about the terrorist infiltration, government response, liberation and current rehabilitation of Marawi City, Philippines.