EDITORIAL| Hero defined

FOR MANY, yesterday was just one of the many non-working holidays mandated by the government. Falling on a Monday, it was another long weekend in August when they can go home to be with their families and students enjoy a respite from schoolwork.

The early morning crowd that gathered yesterday at the Unsung Heroes monument beside the Sangguniang  Panlungsod paid tribute to our local heroes, past and present, who contributed to making our nation proud and what it is today. We may still be working on a better situation for the majority of the Filipinos, but we would like to think that we are on our way to achieving the vision of a truly free and progressive country.

 The National Heroes day used to be celebrated every November 30, to coincide with the birthday of Gat Andres Bonifactio but this was later moved to the fourth Monday of August, “to pay tribute to all other known or unknown men and women who sacrificed their lives for Philippine freedom.”

The keynote speaker yesterday was Maj. General Rafael C. Valencia, Commander of the 10th ID, who encapsulated the spirit of the commemoration. He said that : “… we recognize and pay tribute to Filipinos who took a stand, rendered sacrifices, and even gave their lives in order to lay and strengthen the foundation for a strong and progressive republic.

“This celebration also provides us the opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of a hero, not only in the past, but also in the present situation. Speaking of the word “Hero”, we are reminded of the heroism and gallantry of our soldiers, police and other members of the uniformed services. They who have made the ultimate sacrifice in combat, disaster response, and nation-building activities.”

But heroes do not have to carry guns and fight the “bad guys.” They could be ordinary people who strive to make their family and community a better place to live in.

Valencia continued, “I strongly believe however, that each one of us is a hero. Each little thing we do for our family, neighbors, friends, co-workers and even strangers; in our house, office and community that contributes in building a better family, a better community and a better country, are works of heroes.”

Heroes do not necessarily have to die to become one. Each one of us is a hero in our own right if we share the dream of being part of a nation that leaves no one behind.

Posted in Opinion