Zambo marks 72nd Araw ng Kagitingan PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:30

Zamboanga City will join the entire country in paying homage to the veterans of World War II during the commemoration of the 72nd Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) in simple yet fitting ceremonies to start at 7am in front of City Hall today, April 9.

Themed “Balik-Tanaw sa Sakripisyo ng Beterano, Gabay sa Landas ng Pagbabago,” the activity is simultaneous nationwide.

Mayor Beng Climaco together with Congresspersons Celso Lobregat of District I and Lilia Nuño of District II will lead the activities which will kick off with the formal flag-raising ceremony at the Rizal Shrine fronting City Hall. It will be followed by the floral offering.

Western Mindanao Command Chief LGen. Rustico Guerrero and Naval Forces Western Mindanao Chief Rear Admiral Jesus Milan will also grace the activity.

From the Rizal Shrine, the activities will shift to the Freedom Fighters Memorial Shrine in Rizal Street where the program will be held. A highlight would be hte presentation of World War II Veteran, surviving spouses and post commanders.

After the program, part III of the commemoration would be the awarding ceremony for the 5th Zamboanga City Veterans Inter-Post Tournament with Councilor Roel Natividad as awarding officer.

The activity in Zamboanga City is organized by the Veterans Federation of the Philippines-Zamboanga City Veterans District led by District Commander Raul Roldan.

Araw ng Kagitingan marks the fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942. It highlights the heroism of Filipino and American soldiers during World War II when Japan conquered the Philippines.

April 9 was first declared as Bataan Day in 1961 after Congress passed Republic Act 3022. After 26 years, it was renamed to “Araw ng Kagitingan or Bataan and Corregidor Day.” It marks the day when Luzon Force commander Major General Edward King Jr. of the US Army surrendered more than 76,000 Filipino and American soldiers to the Japanese.

The surrender of Bataan led to the gruesome Death March of Filipino and American soldiers turned prisoners of war who walked 90 miles from Bataan to Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac. Thousands of them died while on their way due to starvation, dehydration, fatigue, and abuse, according to historical accounts. — Sheila Covarrubias