Oct 282014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/11/07MANILA3709.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA3709
2007-11-19 10:04
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO9748
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHML #3709/01 3231004
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191004Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8914
INFO RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 003709

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
PLEASE PASS TO USDVA, ABMC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL RP
SUBJECT: PHILIPPINE FOREIGN SECRETARY HONORS U.S. VETERANS

¶1. Summary: The November 11 Veterans Day ceremony at the Manila
American Cemetery and Memorial vividly demonstrated the strength of
the partnership and ties between the Philippines and the United
States. The Manila offices of the American Battle Monuments
Commission and the Department of Veterans Affairs coordinated an
inclusive ceremony highlighting the people-to-people and
nation-to-nation connections with the Philippines through veterans
and military service. The Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs
spoke poignantly about these connections and jointly laid a wreath
in honor of all veterans. A heart rendering closing included a
Philippine Armed Forces 21 gun salute, echo taps by the Philippine
Armed Forces Band, and retirement of the colors by an Honor Guard of
Filipino and U.S. Marines. The Ambassador hosted an open-air
reception for the well-attended event where veterans from all
generations mixed with senior Philippine military, government and
elected officials, citizens from the American community in Manila,
civic organizations, and media. The entire event received
extensive, positive coverage on national TV. End Summary.

¶2. The Ambassador paid tribute to the great line of U.S. veterans
connected through generations of Americans and Filipinos. Joining
the Ambassador as special guests were veterans of all eras
demonstrating the unbroken line of Americans and Filipinos fighting
in defense of freedom and democracy. Paying tribute to the
“greatest generation,” the Ambassador recognized Colonel Rafael
Estrada who fought valiantly in World War II, survived the Bataan
Death March, and endured as a Prisoner of War by the Japanese.
Representing the youngest generation of veterans was U.S. Army
Specialist Jiankelly Sibug, a Filipino-American who only recently
immigrated to the United States and at 24 years old proudly wore the
Purple Heart he received as a result of a roadside ambush where his
roommate and two others perished in Iraq. In her introduction of
Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Romulo, the
Ambassador praised his leadership and that of the Philippine
Government in the quest for peace and international security to
include a strong stand on Burma during his recent visit to the
United Nations. She recognized the Secretary’s personal commitment
to the true partnership between the United States and the
Philippines.

¶3. Secretary Romulo stated he felt honored to speak on such a
hallowed ground on this momentous day. In paying tribute to the
veterans he was resolute in his reaffirmation of “our shared and
unyielding fidelity to the cause of peace and freedom,” and he
eloquently voiced the sense of partnership in all things to include
“the battle to win the hearts and minds of peoples against the
threats of terrorism, extremism and poverty.” As the senior
representative of the Philippine government, his words were moving
and his sense of debt to all veterans was steadfast. The complete
text of his speech is at paragraph 5.

¶4. Media coverage of the event was extensive and highly favorable.
The reports, both print and electronic, underscored the partnership
values echoed by U.S. and Filipino leaders. An excellent article
highlighted the exceptionally mature comments of the honored
veterans and their shared sense of sacrifice for our common
determination to protect freedoms.

¶5. Text of Secretary Romulo’s Veterans Day speech:

Begin Text:
“Your Excellency Ambassador Kristie Kenney; Excellencies, the
members of the Diplomatic Corps; Our beloved Veterans and their
families;

We are drawn together today in honor and remembrance. We honor and
remember those who paid the ultimate price that we can live in a
free and peaceful world. We likewise remember – and reaffirm – our
shared and unyielding fidelity to the cause of peace and freedom.

11/11/1918: A COMMITMENT TO PEACE

In 1918, nearly nine decades ago, the world rejoiced at the end of
the Great War. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month
that year, the guns at last turned silent. Four years of bitter
fighting had blighted much of Europe. The toll exacted was heavy:
10 million killed and an estimated 20 million wounded. This triumph
fanned hopes for a millennium of peace and prosperity.

Armistice Day – which later on became Veterans Day – recalled the
heroism and gallantry of Allied soldiers who fought against
aggression and pursued their nation’s share commitment to peace.

WORLD WAR II: BRINGING TOGETHER NATIONS AND PEOPLES FOR PEACE

Yet the bright flames of hope soon flickered when, 20 years later,
another war engulfed the world, truly global in scope and far more
devastating and destructive. In the ensuing battles, enduring
friendships were forged in foxholes, as peace became a guiding
beacon for all. Nations fought side-by-side against aggressors,
making comrades – and brothers – of soldiers from both sides of the

MANILA 00003709 002 OF 002

Pacific and the Atlantic.

In the din of bursting cannons and exploding bombs, the quest for
peace never dimmed in the hearts and spirit of mankind.

THE PHILIPPINES AND US: A PARTNERSHIP STRENGTHENED BY ADVERSITY

Nowhere was this more evident than in the Pacific Theater, where
Americans, Filipinos, Australians, New Zealanders and their allies,
fought gallantly to stave off the aggressors. Even then, Corregidor
and Bataan stood as symbols of the bravery, courage and heroism of
our men and women in uniform.

When the end finally came in the Bataan peninsula, these stirring
words of the Voice of Freedom reverberated throughout the world: ”
Men fighting under the banner of an unshakeable faith are made of
something more than flesh but they are not made of impervious steel.
The flesh must yield at last, endurance melts away and the end of
the battle must come. Bataan has fallen, but the spirit that made
stand – a beacon to all liberty-loving peoples of the world – cannot
fall.”

More than five decades later, the Philippines, United States and
their allies remain true partners in the battle to win the hearts
and minds of peoples against the threats of terrorism, extremism and
poverty.

REMEMBERING THE FALLEN, HONORING THE LIVING

Many of those who have fallen in the Philippine campaign and in the
Southwest Pacific lie here at the American Cemetery. On these
hallowed grounds has risen this monument as a symbol of freedom and
heroism. Indeed Veterans Day resonates with meaning not only for
Filipinos and Americans but for all freedom loving peoples of the
world. Our veterans – both American and Filipinos and their allies
– are living reminders of how far we all have journeyed to enjoy our
freedoms today.

Let us not forget that the 18,000 Filipino veterans and their
compatriots in the United States – who are now in the twilight of
their lives – sacrificed themselves so that our generation can live
to see the sun rise in a more peaceful and free world. It is our
duty to honor these veterans by ensuring that we will never again go
to war.

Our responsibility is to ensure that the guns of war remain forever
silent. And we can only learn and live those lessons of war when we
remember.

In the words of Senator Daniel Inouye – himself a veteran of the
Second World War, a Congressional Medal of Honor awardee and a true
friend of the Filipinos – “Let us embrace our sons and daughters
with full pride and the restful assurance that the story of the
veterans’ journey will live on for generations to come.”

Thank you and good morning!”
END TEXT.

Kenney

   

 

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