Today, quarter of a century ago, our esteemed veterans from the 10th Military District led and cleared the way for the returning Allied Liberation forces to put an end to the cruel Japanese occupation of the country, particularly in Cagayan de Misamis, now Cagayan de Oro City.
Armed only with basic infantry weapons from the defunct USAFFE forces and captured enemy firearms and a handful modern armaments supplied by American submarines, but their raw courage, patriotism and iron determination to be emancipated from the brutalities and barbarisms of the occupation forces that earlier promised benevolent independence from Western colonization, made all these a reality.
Their Filipino and American aggressive defense in Bataan and Corregidor has upset the timetable of Japan in their conquest of the entire Pacific, to include Australia and New Zealand, and the resistance activities during the occupation period made the return of the allied forces much easier and tremendously reduced their expected casualties in their most parts of the country as compared to other occupied countries of Asia.
Unfortunately, seventy-five years later, there is still a dearth in written stories about the Second World War in Mindanao from a Filipino perspective that needs to be known especially by today’s generation.
We, however, are privileged that a non-government organization is vigorously pursuing the thankless job documenting the selfless sacrifices of our heroes that has earned for us the freedom we fondly enjoy today. They are the movers of a commemoration activity that should have transpired today had it not been for the pandemic that is also producing heroes of our time.
To our heroes of the Second World War in Cagayan de Oro City and Mindanao, thank you for your service to our country and people. Likewise, I would like to extend my salute to Mr. Raul Ilogon and Mr. Mike Baños for your perpetuating the memories of our heroes.