Let's honor our living heroes: senator

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Monday, June 13, 2011


SENATOR Francis Escudero underscored the need to honor the country's living heroes, along with its national heroes, in the celebration of the 113th Philippine Independence Day.

Escudero was guest of honor and speaker during Bacolod City's Independence Day festivities held at Bays Center Sunday morning.

Escudero, with Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia, Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson and Councilors Mona Dia Jardin, Sonya Verdeflor, Em Ang and Catalino Alisbo led the raising of the Philippine Flag at the city's public plaza and offered wreaths at the monument of the Unknown Soldiers.

The senator honored the great contributions of national heroes like Dr. Jose P. Rizal and Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in gaining the country's freedom that Filipinos enjoy today.

"But why is it that one can only be considered a hero after one dies? Why not honor the living heroes like the teachers, overseas contract workers and many others who, in their own little way, made small things great? Let's make them feel that they are our heroes too," declared the senator.

Escudero pointed out that the country is still not totally free from the bondage of poverty, corruption, and other societal ills.

"Our war veterans need adequate and reasonable benefits and support from the government. They are part of our history. As to our educational facilities, we still lack the needed classrooms, tables, chairs, books and others. How can we consider our educators as our living heroes when we could hardly pay them right?" he asked.

According to Escudero, the real attainment of the independence day of the country is July 4, 1946 when the US Congress granted the Philippines its independence. June 12, 1898 is when Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo declared the country's freedom from Spanish colonization, he stressed.

Mayor Leonardia expressed his appreciation to Sen. Escudero for choosing Bacolod as the place to celebrate Philippine Independence Day.

"There are 122 cities plus the 16 new ones, 80 provinces and 1,498 municipalities in the country where he can choose from to celebrate the Independence Day. But he chose Bacolod City," Leonardia said.

The mayor stated that Philippine Independence Day is worth celebrating, considering how precious it is to the Filipinos. "Our forefathers fought for this for us to be liberated from foreign rule. We thank our war veterans who are here. We are now enjoying the freedom out of the severe sacrifice they offered during the war period," he said.

June is a most historic month for Bacolod City, because it was on June 18, 1938 that Bacolod was chartered as a city.

June 19 is also the 150th birthday of Dr. Jose Rizal and Bacolod City will honor him for his great contribution to the nation's freedom.

The city also held the annual civic military parade participated in by schools, business establishments, the police, the Philippine Army, schools, different drum and bugle corps and civic-oriented groups in Bacolod.

During the parade, organizers also formed the human flag, which was participated in by city employees, scholars, out-of-school youth, summer jobbers, and Visayan Maritime Academy students.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 13, 2011.

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