baguio city commemmorates day of valor, photo by volts gabrillo

Veterans Honored and Remembered at Day of Valor

The 81st Commemmoration of Day of Valor was held today, April 11, at the Veteran’s Memorial Park in Baguio City. The ceremony was attended by Mayor Benjie, Baguio City officials, newly-installed PNP Cordillera Chief Gen. David Peredo, Jr., PNP personnel, and the veterans and their families.

“The Araw ng Kagitingan marks a pivotal moment in our history, a time [when] our forefathers demonstrated bravery and resilience in the face of overwhelming odds,” the Mayor Benjie said in his speech.

“We are here to pay tribute to the courage, sacrifice and service which have helped shape our nation and our identity as Filipinos.”

The Day of Valor or Araw ng Kagitingan is an annual celebration of the Fall of Bataan that resulted to the Death March on April 9, 1942. The infamous Death March was a 140-kilometer march suffered by Filipino and American prisoners of war. During the excruciating march, thousands of soldiers perished due to dehydration, exhaustion, untreated injuries, and random physical abuses and executions by Japanese captors along the way.

Wreath laying and raising of both the Philippine and American flags were the highlights of the ceremony.

“In this solemn occasion, we are gathered together to honor the brave men and women who have fought for our nation’s freedom and democracy, and to celebrate the unwavering commitment to our country,” the mayor added.

This year’s observance of this national holiday was declared to be on April 10 in order for families to spend more time together.

The mayor also acknowledged present-day law enforcers and frontliners who tirelessly serve the public, “But the fight for our country’s freedom and democracy did not end in World War 2. Our modern-day heroes: our soldiers, our police officers, first responders, our health workers continue to put their lives on the line to protect our nation and our people. They, too, are deserving our respect, our admiration, and our gratitude.”

“Let us work together to build a brighter future for our nation. One that is worthy of the sacrifices of our veterans and honors their legacy and memory. We owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans. We must never forget the lessons of history,” he reminded.