Aquino leads celebration of 'Araw ng Kagitingan'

April 9, 2011 2:01 am 

MANILA, April 8 — President Benigno S. Aquino III leads the 69th commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) Saturday at the Dambana ng Kagitingan in Pilar, Bataan.

The President will be given full military honors with a 21-gun salute by the military, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Colonnade.

The President will be accompanied by United States Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. and Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura during the ceremony.

After Thomas and Katsura have their own speeches, the President delivers his message during the commemoration.

With the theme, “Beterano: Huwaran ng Lahing Pilipino,” this year’s celebration is one of the events organized by the Defense department for Filipino veterans who fought during the World War II.

Around 2,000 guests composed of war veterans, students, local officials and members of the diplomatic corps and teachers are expected to attend Saturday’s event.

In 1987, then President Corazon C. Aquino, the mother of the current President, issued Executive Order 23 declaring April 9 of every year a regular holiday for the observance of Araw ng Kagitingan.

In 1989, she issued Proclamation 466 designating April 9 to 11 of each year as Philippine Veterans Week in recognition of the gallantry of Filipino war veterans.

The Defense department, along with other government agencies and non-government organizations, organize series of events during the period to promote, preserve and recognize the heroic deeds of Filipino veterans.

Aside from the high profile guests, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Armed Forces chief of staff Lt. Gen. Eduardo Oban and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office administrator Gen. Ernesto Carolina are also expected to attend the event. (PNA)

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