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U.S. salutes Filipino vets

Updated

By Roy C. Mabasa

The United States government gave a salute to Filipino and American soldiers who sacrificed their lives during World War II for the liberation of the Philippines from Japanese occupation as the nation commemorated Day of Valor on Sunday, April 9.

(c) filvetrep.org / MANILA BULLETIN

(c) filvetrep.org / MANILA BULLETIN

“On this Day of Valor, we honor service members, Filipino and American, who fought for freedom and democratic values,” said U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim in a statement.

Araw ng Kagitingan, also known as Bataan Day, is observed in the Philippines to commemorate the heroism of Filipino and American soldiers when the Japanese occupied the Philippines during World War II.

Major General Edward P. King of the United States Army was forced to surrender more than 76,000 Filipino and American soldiers to the Japanese at dawn on April 9, 1942. The soldiers were forced to take a 90-mile (about 145 kilometers) hike to Capas.Thousands of prisoners died during the hike (also known as the Bataan Death March) due to starvation, dehydration and diseases before they could reach the camp.

Despite the trials of defeat, the captured soldiers stood strong and heroes emerged from the event.Historians state that without this stand in Bataan, the Japanese might have quickly overrun all of the U.S. bases in the Pacific. Bataan forced the Japanese troops to slow down, giving the allies valuable time to prepare for conflicts such as the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway, which followed closely thereafter. American and Filipino liberation forces eventually retook the Bataan peninsula on February 8, 1945.

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  • Ros Feliciano

    In spite of our being part of the United State Armed Forces in the Far East, where tens of thousands of our forefathers had served, and nothing to talk about France, and other allied nations in Europe as parts of the US Armed Forces, still America gave priority to send expeditionary forces to Europe because over 90% of the Americans at that time including all
    government officials were American immigrants from Europe. General Douglas McArthur was right that his insistence for reinforcement from the USA was not loud and clear to the US President. America under the leadership of President Truman made a very big mistake for not heeding the call of Gen D. M.

  • Avery-23

    More propaganda BS from the USA! If the US really care so much about Filipino vets, why doesn’t the US give cash and benefits to Filipino vets as promised by the US?

    • Helix

      Their words are good… very good indeed, but our veterans needs their benefits and cash more than anything else.

      • Avery-23

        Which means their words are not good at all!

  • angpilipinongayon

    Too late. I think 90% of the veterans already left for good and cannot forever hear this recognition from the U.S.