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Commentary: Greatest act of bravery, patriotism

Tacloban City (August 21) -- "Even if I died in the service of the nation, I would be proud of it. Every drop of my blood... will contribute to the growth of this nation and to make it strong and dynamic."

This thought and principle in life, must be what makes the government forces who are risking their lives in Basilan, strong and brave.

The news report saying that caskets bearing the bodies of the fourteen marines who were killed in Saturday's gun battle in Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan, arrived early Saturday evening at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City, brings to mind the greatest deed that man could do for his country, to die for it in the pursuit of democracy and peace.

After the arrival honors the bodies were taken at a Funeral Parlor in Pasay City prior to funeral honors which will be accorded the fallen marines at the Marines Headquarters at Fort Bonifacio today.

It was reported that the remains of two of the marines were left in Basilan to be sent to Zamboanga and Sulu where the two marines are from.

The gun battle took place while the marines were on continued pursuit of the Abu Sayyaf rebels in Basilan. The clash resulted in the killing of 15 and wounding of seven marines. At least 42 bandits were killed.

Watching the grieving families of the fallen marines, makes one assure them that their love ones did not die in vain.

Their lives will be imprinted in history as the men of the marines who sacrificed their lives so that lasting peace and progress will be achieved in Mindanao.

Let their lives be testaments of what lawless elements can do in pursuit of their selfish and evil intents. The lives of the fallen soldiers should serve as a reminder to each and every peace loving Filipinos not to allow terrorists to rule the land. (PIA 8) [top]

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