FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – Top government officials, senior military officers and Enlisted Personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police personnel, members of the diplomatic corps, members of the media, academe, youth and students and members of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines gathered at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, 8:00 a.m. today to pay tribute to our Filipino heroes particularly soldiers fallen during combat and/or while performing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) efforts.
H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines and Commander In Chief, AFP led the celebration of the National Heroes Day at the LNMB. With a theme “Bayaning Pilipino: Lumalaban para sa Makatwiran at Makabuluhang Pagbabago”, the President emphasized the heroism displayed by Filipinos who fought and died in the name of freedom and democracy.
He added that even ordinary citizens are heroes in their own right, saying that “hinuhubog ang bayani hindi lang sa husay sa pakikidigma, pagharap sa bala o sa pagdidilig ng sariling dugo sa lupang sinilangan. Maipamamalas din ito sa pagsasantabi ng sariling interes at sa paggawa ng tama na walang hinahangad na kapalit o pagkilala,” the President said.
President Aquino also challenged the Filipinos that instead of being contented on receiving assistance from others, they should do their utmost best to fulfill their duties to society.
During the event, the Chief Executive was joined by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, AFP Chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Dr. Maria Serena Diokno, Dean Guiseppe Pinto of the Diplomatic Corps, Army Chief Lt. Gen. Hernando DCA Iriberri, Air Force Chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey F Delgado, Navy Flag Officer In Command Vice Adm. Jesus C Millan, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino and Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano.
A wreath laying ceremony was also conducted at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers (TUKS) at LNMB.
Likewise, a full military honor composed of personnel from the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy (Fleet and Marines) and Philippine Air Force was tendered to President Aquino upon his arrival at the LNMB.
Recently, the Philippine Army and the Armed Forces of the Philippines together with the HERO Foundation, Inc., along with other entities and individuals sponsored a concert featuring Army, Air Force, Navy and GHQ Band at Market! Market! Mall, Taguig City last Saturday and a 3K, 5K and 10K Run for Heroes 2014 at HPA Grandstand in Fort Bonifacio.
The Philippine Army and the Armed Forces of the Philippines on the other hand, joins the entire nation in commemorating the National Heroes’ Day with the hope that our heroes’ sacrifices will keep the flame of nationalism alive not just in every soldier but in all citizens.
(Photos by Cpl Jabalde and Pfc Lopez)