Oct 262014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/11/06MANILA4689.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4689 2006-11-14 08:16 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
VZCZCXYZ0005
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #4689 3180816
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140816Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3899
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 004689

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DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS
PASS TO AMERICAN BATTLE MEMORIAL CEMETERY

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV RP
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR HOSTS VETERANS DAY COMMEMORATION AT MANILA AMERICAN CEMETERY

¶1. (U) Summary: On November 11, 2006, the Ambassador hosted the
Mission’s Veteran’s Day Commemoration at the Manila American
Cemetery and Memorial. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Romulo
represented the Government of the Philippines as representatives of
nine allied missions, two veterans’ organizations and the U.S.
Military laid wreaths in a solemn ceremony. Secretary Romulo
spontaneously decided to tour the memorial after the ceremony and
was deeply moved by the tranquil, one hundred fifty-two acre,
gardens of stone under the Narra trees on the highest ground in
Manila. End Summary.

————
The Ceremony
————

¶2. (U) Three hundred guests witnessed the Marine Security
Detachment and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Honor Guard
lay 13 wreaths to honor 17,206 interred men and women who gave their
lives in the Pacific Theater during World War II. As an AFP
sergeant called cadence U.S. Marines and AFP soldiers executed a
letter-perfect series of maneuvers marching shoulder to shoulder.
The ceremony concluded with AFP buglers playing Echo Taps and a
twenty-one gun salute to the fallen. Ambassador Kenney called the
ceremony, “dignified, thoughtful, and a moving tribute to all our
veterans.”

——————————–
Secretary Romulo’s Participation

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——————————–

¶3. (U) Secretary Romulo laid the first wreath, in a ceremony led by
the U.S. Director of Veterans Affairs at Embassy Manila. Secretary
Romulo told the Ambassador, “that it was the perfect way to remember
those who had sacrificed for our freedom.” He also commented “The
sight of the U.S. Marines and Filipino soldiers marching together in
perfect step was a great symbol of our partnership.” Several of the
other Manila-based Ambassadors made similar comments. The event was
covered by local press, including a photo of an AFP bugler alone in
the stone gallery.

¶4. (U) After the ceremony, Secretary Romulo decided to walk the
grounds, and the galleries, bearing witness to the white crosses and
stars of David aligned row on row. As he walked the galleries, he
spent a long time reading some of the 36,285 names of the missing
and absorbing the maps that depicted the history of the liberation
of the Philippine archipelago and war in the Pacific. Before the
Secretary left, he told the Ambassador it had been too long since he

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had been there and he had forgotten how wonderful it was as a
peaceful place and as a place where one could “lose yourself in
history.”

Kenney

   

 

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