War veterans gather at MacArthur Memorial Park
By Marivic Al Alcober
Tacloban City (20 October) -- "I shall return!" A promise made not only by Gen Douglas MacArthur during World War II, but also by a great number of war veterans who have been going back to the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park to attend the yearly Commemorative Program of the Leyte Gulf Landings.
Sixty-two years ago the Allied Forces landed on the beach beyond MacArthur Park Beach Resort during World War II Battle of Leyte Gulf, the biggest naval battle ever fought in all war history. And to commemorate the event, a program for the Leyte Gulf Landings was held at the MacArthur Park participated in by a number of foreign dignitaries and the World War II veterans who were welcomed by our local officials headed by Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla and 1st District Congresswoman Remedios Petilla.
A number of war veterans who were present aired their joy that after all these years their heroic acts during the war are still being recognized and honored. Officers of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines took turns in participating in the different parts of the Commemorative Program. Together with their families the veterans gathered at the MacArthur Memorial Park to listen to the Solidarity Greetings by representatives from the Embassies of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States of America.
In an interview with Alejandro Anoos, an 82-year-old veteran who hails from Barangay Liloan, Ormoc City, he bared that every year he comes to attend the commemorative program to show his gratefulness that after so many years they are still being honored for their patriotism and bravery they have shown during the war. Anoos remembered that there was a time during the war when he was in the middle of exchange of fires and he thought that he will never see his family again, and here he is today, together with his family enjoying the honors granted not only for him but for all the veterans reminiscing the days gone by. And for those who passed away, their bravery will always be cherished and never be forgotten.
Another veteran, Antonio Boloy who was part of the 2nd Infantry Battalion during World War II and who is also from Ormoc City, aired his gratefulness for the privileges which have been granted by the present administration not only to the war veterans but also for the senior citizens as well.
On the other hand, the Local Government Units of Tolosa, Dulag, Alang-alang, Tanauan, and Guiuan, Eastern Samar also celebrated the event by conducting their own commemorative activities in their areas. (PIA-8) [top]