Today I commit to mind and heart the events 69 years ago, when soldiers (both Filipinos and Americans) were brought to surrender by the power of the Japanese Imperial Army. It was a defeat, yes; but within those who participated in the brave fights to keep the defense of Bataan, it was a display of sustained resolve to be focused to the prime goal: to keep the invaders away.
There may be hundreds of speeches being delivered today and hundreds of wreaths being laid in numerous war memorials and monuments. But without committing to our minds and hearts the horror of the battles, the recollections of the piles of dead civilians and combatants, then not much is achieved by those who fought the War. It was blood that was given that we now enjoy the (relative) peace of today. The (relative) calmness and contentment with which we face each day betrays the noise of the firing guns and shouts of the dying at that time.
Let us commit this day in remembering ALL those who fought in the defense of the Philippine Islands during the Second World War. May we continue the battle for peace and independence that they have earlier waged. Even without the guns. Even without the cannons.