11 APRIL 2023
Embassy Press and Information Section
WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Let today be a collective opportunity to pour our gratitude and reverence to all our departed brothers in service for their devotion to duty and unparalleled sacrifices for the love of our country. They are not simple soldiers or just a moment in our past. They are our country’s national treasures,” said Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez as he addressed the Filipino veterans and guests during the wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor on 07 April 2023 at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.
Additionally, Philippine Defense & Armed Forces Attaché to the US Salvador Henry Quinto also read a message from Senior Undersecretary and Officer-in-Charge Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. calling on all Filipinos to “renew our commitment to uphold the values of freedom, justice, and equality that our heroes fought so hard to defend. Let us always be proud of our nation’s history, and continue to strive towards a brighter and more prosperous future for all Filipinos.”
Notwithstanding the unfavorable weather condition, the Filipino veterans and members of the Filipino community proceed with this solemn ceremony to commemorate the bravery of Filipino and American soldiers who valiantly fought to defend the Bataan Peninsula against Japanese forces on April 09, 1942. This year’s theme “Kagitingan Ng Mga Beterano, Pundasyon Ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino” (Gallantry of the Veterans, Foundation of the United Filipinos) serves as a reminder of the valor, heroism and patriotism of our veterans that later became the very foundation of our country’s freedom.
Among the distinguished guests during the wreath laying ceremony are Major General Antonio Taguba (US Army Retired), chairman of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FILVETREP); U.S. Armed Forces Brigadier General Jimmy Canlas, U.S. Air Force; Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to the United States Captain Henry Quinto; Police Attaché of the Philippines to the United States Police Brigadier General Wilson Joseph F. Lopez; Senior Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Remigio Cabacar (US Navy Retired), members of the FILVETREP, and the US Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5471. World War II memorial visitors and passers-by also observed the ceremonies.
In accordance with Republic Act no. 3022, April 09 is declared as the Day of Valor, a Philippine public holiday, to commemorate the fall of Bataan during the second World War. ###