By Jojo Riñoza and Liezle Basa Iñigo
Lingayen, Pangasinan – They are sometimes referred to as the “vanishing generation of heroes.” Yesterday World War II veterans of Pangasinan gathered and livened up the commemoration of the 73rd Lingayen Gulf Landings of the Allied Forces and the 10th Pangasinan Veterans Day at the Veterans’ Memorial Park in the Capitol Complex,here.
Once again, they were given honors for their heroic deeds during the World War II.
Governor Amado “Pogi” I. Espino III led the wreath-laying ceremony along with 2nd District Representative Leopoldo N. Bataoil, Robert Barnes, president of the Returned Service League of Australia, and some of his brothers-in-arms.
In his speech, Espino recognized the valiant contribution of “Pangasinan freedom fighters and guerillas as they join the massive offensive drive to force the foreign invaders out of our country.”
“Truly, words are not enough to express our love and respect to our war hero veterans” he said.
Bataoil, who chairs the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Welfare, assured the veterans of an increase on their monthly pension.
“There is now a bill in Congress to raise the monthly pension from 5,000 pesos to 20,000 pesos and a proposed bill to build a Veterans Memorial Hospital in every province nationwide,” Bataoil saying in Tagalog.
It was on Jan. 9, 1945 when the historic landing of Allied Forces led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Lingayen Gulf took place and became the turning point for the liberation of the Philippines and the entire Pacific region from Japanese occupation.
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