AFP PAYS TRIBUTE TO VETERANS ON 77TH ARAW NG KAGITINGAN
DAY OF VALOR. Task Group Cebu commander, Col. Noel Baluyan (right) accompanies Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña (second from right, in barong) in laying wreath at the Veterans’ Marker in Plaza Independencia, Cebu City, to commemorate the 77th Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), April 9, 2019. Col. Baluyan represented Central Command commander, Lt. Gen. Noel Clement, in the activity. (Photo by Central Command U7/PIO)
CEBU CITY – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Visayas on Tuesday paid tribute to the veterans for their “selfless service and sacrifice,” during the commemoration of the 77th Araw ng Kagitingan (day of valor) at the Veterans’ Marker in Plaza Independencia here.
Central Command commander, Lt. Gen. Noel Clement, said “veterans of our military service have put their lives to protect the freedom that we enjoy today.”
“They have dedicated their lives to our country and deserved to be recognized for their commitment. They are our great exemplars of the ideals of service, patriotism, and dedication,” Clement said in his message read by Task Group Cebu commander, Col. Noel Baluyan.
He said celebrating the 77th Araw ng Kagitingan is “meant to pay tribute to a rare breed of men and women whose dare and spirit to fight have continuously inspired our men in uniform.”
The chief of the armed forces in the Visayas praised many generations of soldiers “who have worn the uniform” and shown their bravery in fighting against domestic and foreign enemies, describing them as symbol of “nobility selfless service and sacrifice” in responding to the call of duty.
“It was with their vision of freedom that the AFP has been set on the right course,” Clement said.
The veterans are “ordinary people who have been placed in extraordinary circumstances, and the ones who know the true meaning of courage,” he added.
Baluyan accompanied Mayor Tomas Osmeña in laying the wreath at the veterans’ marker at Plaza Independencia.
In his message, Osmeña urged the veterans and other attendees to celebrate victory rather than defeat.
“Why are we celebrating a defeat? Why don’t we celebrate victory?” he asked. “Many of our holidays are about losing and dying.”
Osmeña noted that the success of the armed forces in defending Marawi against Islamic State-inspired Maute fighters in May of 2017 should be considered a “celebration of victory.”
The mayor recalled donating PHP10 million for the families of soldiers who had done their greatest sacrifice in Marawi, saying “if we don’t have people like them (soldiers), they (IS) may be in our doorsteps today”. (PNA)