AN EXHIBIT featuring the stories of the country’s World War II heroes opened on April 10, at the San Fernando Old Train Station in Barangay Sto. Niño, in time for the commemoration of the 77th Death March anniversary.
“War of our Fathers” exhibit is a project of the City Government of San Fernando and the Philippine Veterans Bank which displays several photos, write-ups, and artifacts captured and used by Filipino freedom fighters during the war.
The venue, the San Fernando Old Train Station, also played a vital role during the Bataan Death March in 1942.
It served as the final stop of the Filipino and American soldiers on their 102-kilometer march from Mariveles, Bataan before heading to their final destination in Capas, Tarlac.
Philippine Veterans Bank president and chief operating officer Renato Claravall said the exhibit’s aim is to bring up the stories of the heroes during the war to the younger generation.
“In this Death March anniversary, we are celebrating an example of valor, strength, discipline, and commitment which many people do not understand, especially the younger ones. That is why we are bringing up the stories of our fathers through an exhibit,” said Claravall.
City tourism officer Ching Pangilinan, meanwhile, remarked that the city serves as a tool to encourage every Fernandino to trace back the contribution of Pampanga and San Fernando to the rich history of the war.
“Pampanga remains to be one of the noble and heroic places not just by sending soldiers in the World War II but also through Hukbalahap veterans who also contributed their own efforts. In the City of San Fernando, we do not forget its rich history and tradition. Every year, we give honor, not only to our forefathers but also to their families,” Pangilinan said.
Apart from the exhibit, the city government also conducted a wreath-laying ceremony at the Death March marker at the old train station.
Also attending the ceremonies were representatives from the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, San Fernando Arts and Culture Council, different Masonic Lodges of Pampanga, City Schools Division of San Fernando teachers, barangay officials and barangay tourism council members, and some heads of offices.
The exhibit will run until April 15. (PR)