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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan 2022: Wreath Laying and Unveiling of Carlos P. Romulo Portrait

(From left to right) US Army Brigadier General Roy Macaraeg, Undersecretary of the US Air Force Gina Ortiz-Jones, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, US Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Remigio Cabacar (ret), and Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attache to the United States Colonel Amado V. Dela Paz during the Araw ng Kagitingan wreath laying ceremony.

 – “Sampu ng aking mga kasama sa embahada, pinupugay namin ang kagitingan ng ating mga beterano. Kayo ang bukal ng inspirasyon upang pagkaisahin ang mga Pilipino. Mabuhay ang mga beterano at ang nagkakaisang Pilipino at Amerikano!” said Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez as he addressed the Filipino veterans during the wreath laying ceremony in commemoration of the Day of Valor or Araw ng Kagitingan held on 08 April 2022 at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.

It was on April 9, 1942 when Filipino and American soldiers unwaveringly stood shoulder to shoulder and valiantly fought to defend the Bataan Peninsula. In celebration of the eightieth anniversary of the Day of Valor, this year’s theme “Kagitingan ng mga Beterano, Inspirasyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino” or the Gallantry of the Veterans, Inspiration of the United Filipinos, underscores the courage, sacrifice, and heroism of our veterans. 

Among the distinguished guests during the wreath laying ceremony are Major General Antonio Taguba (US Army Retired), chairman of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FILVETREP); Undersecretary of the US Air Force Gina Ortiz-Jones; US Army Brigadier General Roy Macaraeg; Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attache to the United States Colonel Amado V. Dela Paz, Senior Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Remigio Cabacar (US Navy Retired), members of the FILVETREP, and the US Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5471. World War II memorial visitors and passers-by also observed the ceremonies.

In her remarks, Undersecretary Ortiz-Jones highlighted the strong relations of the Philippines and the United States: “In the face of torture but in the name of democracy (they) endured the Bataan death march and the bonds that continue to exist between our country are ones that are strong and will remain to be strong when we look at our collective challenges moving our way forward.”

Brigadier General Macaraeg emphasized the importance of commemorating the Day of Valor during his remarks as he said “Memorials and commemorations like this are very important to give us the opportunity to thank them for their service to continue to remember their sacrifices and to perpetuate their legacy. Today, we are doing just that. We are commemorating and remembering the sacrifices of an extraordinary group of American and Filipino veterans. Members of the greatest generation, the Filipino and American soldiers who served during World War II and who demonstrated complete unconditional patriotism. Today, we give our sincere appreciation and remember their sacrifices for it was them who have paved the way and provided opportunities for so many for future generations.” 

“Remembering this day is necessary and very personal. You see my old brother here and I walked and survived the prison camp. Let us always remember the brave soldiers who participated in the Bataan march and in any war who gave their all so that we have the freedom that we enjoy as Americans.” said by Senior Petty Officer Cabacar, an honored Filipino World War II veteran.

Colonel Amado V. Dela Paz closed the morning ceremonies by delivering his message, “Araw ng Kagitingan reminds us that our valor cannot only be exhibited in the face of defense and battlefields. The act of valor is within us all. We live by and through it in our everyday lives, within our nation, and amongst ourselves. The call of valor is for every Filipino to hold on to its virtues in all of our endeavors, and what we must do to protect and defend our peace and democracy in times of struggles and threats.”

The Philippine and American National Anthems were sung by Filipino-American Mr. Allan Palacios Chan.

Unveiling of the portrait of Carlos P. Romulo by Ambassador Romualdez with the VFW Post 5471, Lagman family, and FILVETREP

Reception and unveiling of a portrait of Carlos P. Romulo

The wreath laying ceremony was followed by a reception and unveiling of a portrait of Carlos P. Romulo at the Philippine Embassy’s Romulo Hall. The portrait by artist Orlando Lagman was donated by the US Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5471, through Senior Chief Petty Officer Cabacar, to the Philippine Embassy.

Before he became a seasoned diplomat and the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Carlos P. Romulo helped lead the joint forces towards Philippine independence during the second world war as a Brigadier General in the Philippine Army and as chief aide to General Douglas MacArthur. He admirably also won a Pulitzer Prize for Peace for his prewar evaluation of the military situation in the Pacific area.


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