Libingan ng mga Bayani, Taguig City
25 August 2014

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the country’s commemoration of the National Heroes Day, where he recognized all the Filipinos who sacrificed their lives for the restoration and preservation of peace and freedom throughout the country.

In his speech, President Aquino emphasized the true meaning of this year’s rites by citing three things which completely define the essence of celebrating such a special occasion. He said that this day is for people who are setting aside their personal goals to help in nation-building, as well as a day to give thanks for sacrifice that paved the way for the country to experience different kinds of freedom. Likewise, the President mentioned that this is a chance for everyone to contemplate on the sense of being a hero.

“Personal para sa akin ang pagbibigay-depenisyon sa pagiging bayani. Iba-iba ang ating pinanggagalingan, at iba-iba rin ang ating kakayahan. Kung gayon po, iba-iba rin ang pagkakataong bumubukas sa atin para maglingkod sa ating Inang Bayan at sa ating mga kapwa Pilipino,” he said.

Moreover, the President cited examples of courage, which on these modern times exemplify selflessness despite overwhelming challenges that the country had faced. He mentioned several acts of bravery, two of which were the story of Noli Dela Cruz, a non-uniformed personnel who saved 36 people during the wake of Typhoon Yolanda, and the story of some Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Japan, who shared optimism and hope to the Japanese people during the Fukushima Nuclear Incident in 2011.

“Sa dalawang halimbawang ito, kahanga-hanga ang ipinakitang kakayahan ng Pilipino na maging tanglaw sa panahon ng kadiliman. Imbes na magbato ng batikos o magpakalat ng negatibismo gaya ng nakasanayan ng iilan ngayon, pinili nilang maging lakas para sa kanilang kapwa,” the President expressed.

In the end, President Aquino encouraged everyone to continue the positive changes that the current administration started. According to him, this is the only way of showing our courtesy and gratitude to the contributions of all the Filipino heroes.

“Ito po ang tanging paraan upang masiguro natin kapag nagdiwang ng Pambansang Araw ng mga Bayani ang mga susunod na henerasyon, aalalahanin, pasasalamatan, at pamumuni-munihan nila ang panahong ito, at kanilang sasabihin: ito ang panahong sama-samang nagpasya ang mga Pilipino na maging bayani,” President Aquino ended.

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