THE Bacolod City Plaza stands quietly and serenely amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday living in the metropolis. Day in and day out, people from all walks of life traverse its familiar expanse en route to individual destinations.

Hardly noticeable in one corner, right across the San Sebastian Cathedral, is a war memorial known as the Monument to the Unknown Soldier. A weeping woman and an upright rifle supporting a soldier's helmet comprise the monument. It is dedicated to the many nameless soldier-casualties of World War II.

The Bacolod City Archives photo exhibit includes a photo documentation of the war on the home front. It is said that as many as a hundred American warplanes dropped a thousand bombs on Japanese positions in Patag during one bombing run.

There's a picture of General Douglas MacArthur on board a PT boat from Iloilo en route to Negros. It docked at Banago early in the morning of June 6, 1945 and left in the evening. American troops from the US Army's 40th Infantry Division comprised the liberating forces of the war in Negros.

Last June 12, 2010, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at the monument on the occasion of the country's 112th Independence Day Celebration with top local government officials in attendance. Thanks to the American liberation forces and our very own Filipino war veterans, we are now savoring the gift of independence.