News Release

Honor for Fallen Soldiers on Memorial Day

Fallen soldiers in WW II were honored by veterans and military officials together with members of government, civic and religious groups early Sunday morning May 29, 2016 on the hallowed grounds of Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.  We must preserve the freedoms that they fought for. Ambassador Phillip S Goldberg said,  "The highest appreciation is not to utter the words but to live by them."

Two small flags, the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America, stand as quiet sentinels on each of the more than 17000 graves of fallen US servicemen and Filipino soldiers who served with them during World War II.  

Just below the wide terrace in front of the tall white chapel is a long row of wreaths, an eloquent expression of reverence for the past and hope for the future.   Roses, Anthuriums, Milflores, Stargazers and Mums.

The program included:  Invocation: Elder Craig Davenport of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints representing Elder Shayne Bowen; Remarks: Mr. Larry A Adkison, American Battle Monuments Commission; Memorial floral offerings: Lieutenant General Glorioso V. Miranda, Acting Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg, United States Ambassador to the Philippines;  Opening Remarks: Robert F Lane, Trustee, American Association of the Philippines;  Memorial Day Messages: Ambassador Philip S Goldberg; Lieutenant General Gloriouso V. Miranda; Colonel Charles A Western, Chief of Staff, Third Marine Expeditionary Brigade, United States Marine Corps; Prayers: Reverend Kenneth D Fuller, United Pentecostal Church International and US veteran; Bishop Arthur L Jones, Holy Trinity Church; Rabbi Eliyahu Azaria, The Jewish Association of the Philippines; National Moment of Remembrance Tribute: Miss Lilly E Serpa, Mstr. Joseph M Maristela;  Benediction: Father Efren Jimenez, OFM Santuario de San Antonio Parish.

Honored guest, Fidel V. Ramos, former President of the Philippines.

Robert F. Lane opened the ceremony with a declaration: "Look to your liberty and remember that it has been secured by people who have given their lives. Today is a day of prayer and a day or resolution that this shall never happen again. As the earth grows smaller we have no place for enemies. We must all learn to live together."

Referring to the 17,771 soldiers for whom the cemetery is a final resting place and the 40,000 missing Filipinos and Americans whose names are inscribed on the Memorial, Ambassador Goldberg declared: "They deserve our admiration and our profound gratitude and allow us to imagine a better way. They showed us the way to work together. We remain steadfast friends and partners."

Lieutenant General Miranda remarked, "As we honor our dead, we continue to support the ideals that emboldened them to glory. We are brother-in-arms, enjoying the rights and privileges of freedom and democracy. We do it in partnership with our closest ally, the United States of America. Our fallen comrades made the ultimate sacrifice. Let this be a reminder to all of us that their sacrifices should not be in vain. If we maintain our blood-forged alliance, we will prevail."

Two small children representing all Filipinos and Americans brought red roses to the chapel. 

The Ceremonial Salute was given by the Philippines Army Honor Guard and taps were played by the Philippine Army Band.  

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participates annually at the Memorial Day Ceremony. Members of the Church throughout the world share a commitment to both peace and freedom, and as such, support the defense of liberty wherever it is in jeopardy.  

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.