A lawmaker urged the public to continue honoring the bravery and heroism of veterans who fought and perished during the infamous 1942 Death March.
House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Welfare Chairperson and Patrol Partylist Representative Jorge Bustos stressed that everyone has a part in transforming the inspiration brought about by the freedom-fighters into a collective action.
“What we need is to translate this inspiration into action. To live and die just like our soldiers. To be able to sustain and maintain, if not to improve and develop, what has been achieved by our forefathers,” he said during the Joint Tribute to all Filipino Heroes and Paggunita sa Capas at the Capas National Shrine.
Bustos added that the present generation can show the same bravery of the heroes by defending the country’s freedom and democracy.
“Let us make this nation better and greater than what they have left us so that we may live a better country for the generations to come,” he stressed.
Bustos vowed that he will be instrumental in addressing concerns, and advancing programs, services and benefits for veterans and their families.
One of the initiatives of the government, Bustos highlighted, includes the veterans’ access to free medical benefits at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
“I will take it upon myself to spearhead and rally for the introduction of significant reforms pertaining to the benefits of the veterans in the 19th Congress,” he noted.
During the program, Bustos led the ceremonial turn-over of 20 wheelchairs to the veterans’ families.
Meanwhile, Capas Mayor Roseller Rodriguez encouraged the people to work hand-in-hand in preserving and celebrating the legacy of the veterans.
“Let us take this time to reflect and rekindle the heroism of our ancestors. May this celebration strengthen our commitment to preserving the values and principles that our heroes fought for. Together, let us continue to remember and celebrate their legacy and keep the spirit of unity alive in our hearts,” he stated.
Paggunita sa Capas commemorates the heroism and sacrifices of the freedom-fighters who experienced the death march, and became prisoners-of-war at one of the Japanese concentration camps now known as Capas National Shrine.
The activity is part of the annual observance of Araw ng Kagitingan and Philippine Veterans Week.
This year’s commemoration carries the theme “Kagitingan ng mga Beterano, Pundasyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino.” (CLJD/TJBM-PIA 3)