Palo, Leyte—President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday led the commemorative ceremony to honor the bravery and heroism demonstrated by the Filipino war veterans, ordinary Filipinos, along with allied forces, and even the Japanese forces “who offered their lives in a quest to attain peace and freedom that we now enjoy.”
“They who have fought and died in and for this land will have their names forever etched in the pages of history. We express our most profound gratitude for the sacrifices that they had made in reclaiming our freedom and for ushering in a new age of peace for our people and for the world,” Mr. Marcos said during the 78th Leyte Gulf Landings ceremony at the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Palo, Leyte.
The President also vowed to promote the welfare of the country’s war veterans as he thanked the war veterans and allied forces for sacrificing their lives to liberate the Philippines during World War II.
“This government will always continue to look after the welfare of our war veterans. For as we commemorate on this hallowed ground, sanctified by the blood, the life, and the sacrifices of our brave veterans, we cannot allow our memories to lapse. We must always remember that this was the best of Filipinos,” he said.
The Chief Executive also pledged to continue supporting initiatives that will not only preserve the country’s historical and cultural sites, but will also deepen the Filipino people’s sense of national identity.
Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla and Palo Mayor Remedio Petilla also acknowledge the presence and participation of various dignitaries, members of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines -Eastern Visayas, Sons and Daughters Associations, Inc. of the Veterans of World War 2, and local officials during the return of the face-to-face commemorative activity two years after the height of the coronavirus disease pandemic.
Since there is no official museum in Eastern Visayas that houses World War 2 artifacts, the governor said they are converting the old Leyte Provincial Capitol into a museum.
Reportedly, the oldest living World War 2 veteran is 101 years old from Burauen town in Leyte, while the youngest is 93 from Hinunangan town in Southern Leyte.
Awards were also conferred to the 33 surviving war veterans in Eastern Visayas, 17 of whom are in Leyte. With Vito Barcelo and Vince Lopez