LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Jan 15 (PIA) — War veterans here were honored anew for their heroism as the province celebrated Veteran’s Day on January 9 at the Veterans Memorial Park, Capitol Compound in this town.
The affair was also in commemoration of the historic landing in Lingayen Gulf in 1945 of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who led the Allied Forces to overcome the Japanese.
The celebration started with a thanksgiving mass officiated by Rev. Fr. Victor Embuido.
A wreath-laying ceremony followed at the Veterans Shrine led by Gov. Amado Espino Jr.; former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani; Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara, commander of the Northern Luzon Command; Commodore Salvador Esguerra, deputy administrator of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office; and Atty. James Curtis-Smith, president of the Returned and Services League of Australia.
A commemorative program came next to pay tribute to the epic struggles of all gallant war veterans who had fought hard to secure the freedom being enjoyed by today’s generation.
A video presentation entitled “Unsurrendered 100 Voices” was shown during the program which featured immortal memories of World War II in Pangasinan including testimonies narrated by freedom fighters still living at present.
As the program’s highlight, the provincial government recognized the oldest surviving war veteran in Pangasinan in the person of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Glicerio Valdez, Sr. from Alcala town, who is now 102 years old. Valdez has been an awardee for three consecutive years now.
Former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, who was the guest of honor and speaker, urged residents of Pangasinan to unite in bringing back the sense of pride, integrity and honor handed down by our great ancestors, especially the war veterans, to the present generation.
Free medical checkup and gift packs were given to veterans right after the program in front of the Sison Auditorium. (ANL/AMM-PIA 1, Pangasinan)