Dear Editor:

This is the third week of the continued clash between the military and the Maute Group. It is like an unending battle for the innocent civilians in Marawi City especially the children who are the most affected in this battle. It is heartbreaking when I see in the news the situation of our displaced brothers and sisters in Marawi.

It is also heartbreaking seeing the soldiers fight. Some are wounded and some won’t be able to come back home with their families.

I only knew war and the story of battles through movies and books but now I see the real battle not just pictures and letters. This is also the time that I realized the hardships and sacrifices of the soldiers. How hard they fight and dedicate their own lives just to protect us. Us, who even they did not know personally.

The most inspiring message I heard despite the ongoing clash is from a young Ranger. He is younger than mine and I cannot believe until now that in his young age he is already in the battlefield. When I thank him for their sacrfices for us, he answered me, “Ito kasi ang sinumpaan namin na tungkulin, Ma’am.”

That short statement really struck me and made me realize once more how grateful I am that we have these kind of soldiers who dedicate their own lives for the welfare and safety of others. It may be a simple answer but it serves as an inspiration not only for me but for the others to live a productive and meaningful life. To live loving other people.

To live loving your country like the soldiers are doing. In life, we ask for many things. Most of it are material things. But these brave men only ask for our prayers. Prayers that is their source of strength. Our words of encouragement serves also their inspiration to fight and win this battle.

Let us pray that this battle will end. Religion and belief should not be the reason to start a war. Killing other people is not a way of forcing people to believe on what you believe in. We should res­pect each other’s beliefs.

Let us also pray not only for ourselves but for the soldiers. Let us give time to thank them and give an inspiring message because it makes them strong and more positive that they will be able to come back home.

I am very proud that I met this young soldier who until now is in the battlefield. Still standing by his commitment to his beloved country and countrymen.

Thank you for giving me some of your time.

It makes me happy that you thank me for answering your call and talking to you. I hope that somehow it gives you relief and makes you happy even for a short while. Your courage and everyday stories serve as an inspiration for me. Come back home and tell me again your stories. Thank you soldier, and to the other brave soldiers in Marawi.

Precious Andrea L. Fontanilla
Student, Metro Manila

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