TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte will be having a simple commemoration of the 66th Leyte Gulf Landings Anniversary on October 20 this year.
Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla said making sure that the younger generation know of the significance of the annual commemoration as well as the role of World War II and the Filipino war veterans in the history of the world should be given more emphasis.
“I fear that the essence and lessons of Leyte Landing and the reason why we commemorate it every year is slowly losing in the minds and hearts of our younger generation,” Gov. Petilla said.
For some of the younger ones, October 20 just means a “non-school day” which they could spend outside with friends or catch up some rest at home.
Thus, he said, his call goes to the teachers to remind the students of the significance of the Leyte Gulf Landings and why October 20 is a red-letter day for the province.
“Ha elementary and high school, talagsa nala an nakakahinumnumdum han World War II. I would say commemoration would be more meaningful if the younger ones would not forget and let the lessons and heroism of our war heroes live on still in the generation to come,” Gov. Petilla added.
The yearly Leyte Gulf Landings commemorates the landing of Gen. Douglas MacArthur on the shores of Palo, Leyte to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese occupation.
In last year’s commemoration, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo led the 65th commemoration of the Leyte Gulf Landing at the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park, together with former US Ambassador Kirstie Kenney, Australian Defense Attache Captain Vic Jones, Canadian Counselor James Trottier, and Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura.
National officials and foreign diplomats are likewise invited in this year’s celebration however the governor did not disclose the names yet.
The Philippine National Police in the province reportedly have already stepped up security measures for the upcoming October 20 commemoration as they expect foreign dignitaries, tourists and other visitors to grace the occasion. PMRC