LINGAYEN–“There are armies to defeat, but we are only armed with our teeth.”
This cliché, by a world war II veteran soldier in the “Unsurrendered 100 Voices” video presentation played at the Sison Auditorium was a testament to the epic struggles of not only the few remaining freedom fighters still living today, but also for the immortal memories of the veterans who have passed away.
Witty, the testimony of courage at par with many more testimonials are undying accounts of the heroic deeds, a source of appreciation and gratitude to what they had worked for just to secure the freedom now being enjoyed by today’s generation of Filipinos.
Some 400 war veterans and the family representatives of the departed ones, all from the six districts of the province, together with provincial and municipal officials, had a great time sharing war memoirs on January 9, 2013 at the hallowed Veterans’ Park.
Lydia Hernandez, a war veteran from Mabini together with fellow veteran Alfredo Gamboa of Agno, have expressed elation over this special day of commemoration for their noble liberation deeds.
“Sisentay otso na taon na ang ngayon at ramdam ramdam ko ang pigiging proud na beterano,” Marciano Tambo of San Manuel said.
Even US Army Sgt. 1stClass Glicerio V. Valdez, Sr. of Alcala town, who is now 102 years old, could still recount how they fought to liberate Philippines from the Japanese forces.
Many more accounts of valor and bravery have been preserved through the years as war veterans narrate war stories to the younger generations.
Meanwhile, a medical mission which offered the veterans free medical services was held in front of the Sison Auditorium right after the Veterans’ day commemoration program held at the Veterans’ Park.
The Provincial Health Office led by Ana Maria Teresa De Guzman has noted that more war veterans were accommodated in the medical mission this year.
The activity was held with the participation of lead agencies such as Pangasinan Veterans’ Affairs Office which comprises both the Veterans’ Federation of Pangasinan and the Veterans’ Sons and Daughters Association.
Declaring January 9 as a day to honor Pangasinan’s valiant heroes is an imperative move by the provincial government led by Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. to commemorate the historic Lingayen Gulf Landings by the Liberation Forces led by Gen. Douglas McArthur.
Pangasinan Veterans’ Day is celebrated annually by virtue of provincial board resolution 331-2007 authored by then Vice Governor Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, now sixth district Congresswoman, and her husband Tyrone Agabas, former sixth district Congressman. (PIO/Mark Gerry)