‘Tribute to Heroes’ set today PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 December 2013 13:13

Grateful Zamboangueños will gather in front of City Hall today for a memorial ceremony dubbed “Tribute to Heroes” in honor of the fallen and living heroes of the Zamboanga siege.

Mayor Beng Climaco will lead the special ceremony set to start at 8am in the presence of all those who took part in defending Zamboanga against those who plotted destruction during the 23-day siege last September. The list includes survivors and families of slain soldiers, policemen and civilians and all those who offered their time, effort and resources to the cause of upholding one flag, one nation, one Zamboanga.

The different units—both from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police that helped repel the malefactors are also expected to attend the momentous occasion.

As the city transitions from crisis to recovery and rehabilitation, the City Government deems it fit to hold the ceremony to remember in a special way all who have risked their lives in defense of Zamboanga.

The same event will also mark the beginning of the jubilant Advent season.

The highlight in the ceremony will be the wreath laying rite in honor of the 38 slain soldiers, policemen and civilians and the reading of thank you messages to soldiers by children-survivors.

Top officials from the AFP, PNP, national government agencies, non-government organizations and other concerned groups are expected to grace the occasion.

In sum, the event will be acknowledging the experiences of all people who shaped and defined the character of Zamboangueños —who, despite diversity in religion, culture and  ideology—are united in their conviction to a cause and love for the city and country.

Mayor Climaco is grateful for the gallantry and valiant service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bureau of Fire Protection and other law enforcement agencies whose loyalty, dedication and commitment helped repelled the MNLF attack.

Zamboanga City Fire District (ZCFD) Fire Marshal Supt. Dominador F. Zabala, Jr. will be one of those to be recognized during the ceremony after the traditional Monday’s flag raising.

It can be recalled during the attack by MNLF rebels loyal to Misuari, the ZCFD under Supt Zabala Jr. dispatched several firetrucks and fire fighters in the area to help the military and the police put off the fires in the more than 9,,000 houses that were burning, allegedly perpetrated by the MNLF rebels despite the threats from snipers, who continued to shoot at government forces clearing the area.

Firemen bravely proceeded to the areas of conflict and contained the fires. — Sheila Covarrubias