National, foreign dignitaries confirm attendance to 65th Leyte Gulf Landings anniversary
Tacloban City (October 16) -- Several prominent figures have already confirmed their attendance to the 65th anniversary celebration of the Leyte Gulf Landings come October 20, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla informed.
Governor Petilla confirmed the attendance of the representatives of the Allied Forces and national officials. Among those who confirmed her attendance is the US Ambassador to the Philippines, Her Excellency Kristie Kenny who will be in Leyte for the first time.
The Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Makuto Kachura has also communicated his attendance to the historic event, in order to extend Japan's message of solidarity.
Moreover, the visitors from Australia will be led by Defense Attache of the Embassy of Australia, Captain Victor S. Jones. Mr. James Rottier will lead the delegation from Canada.
The Commemorative Celebration secretariat also disclosed that Secretary Gilberto Teodoro of the Department of National Defense and Senator Manny Villar, have already signified their attendance.
Aside from the Filipino World War II veterans who will be attending the commemorative program on the 20th, about 15 American World War II veterans are arriving on October 18.
The Leyte Gulf Landings Anniversary commemorates the successful liberation by Allied forces of the Philippines from Japanese occupation during WWII.
The celebrations remember the arrival of General Douglas MacArthur and his men who landed on the shores of Palo, Leyte. MacArhtur had been forced to retreat from the islands two years earlier by advancing Japanese forces at which point he valiantly vowed: "I shall return".
The landing preceded the Battle of Leyte Gulf on Oct. 22-27, 1944 that involved more than 739 ships in what is considered as history's largest sea battle. (PIA 8) [top]