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Manila commemorates the 100,000 civilians who perished in 1945 world war

Honey Lacuna
Mayor Honey Lacuna led the city in commemorating those who perished during the war in 1945. (JERRY S. TAN)

Mayor Honey Lacuna led the commemoration of the 79th anniversary of the ‘Battle for Manila’ and the unveiling anniversary of the Memorare-Manila 1945 Monument at the Plazuela Sta. Isabel in Intramuros, Manila with a call for Manilans to draw strength from the said ‘dark and painful’ event in the history of Manila.

Lacuna was joined by ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corps, officials, Congressmen and Councilors from the six districts of Manila and representatives from national government agencies and private organizations, as they all paid their respects at the memorare built in honor of those who perished during the war in 1945.

Leaders from Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Intramuros Administration, and Memorare- Manila 1945 also joined the wreath laying ceremony.

“Let us honor their memory and draw strength from their resilience as we strive for a future of peace, prosperity, and unity,” Lacuna said in her short statement, adding: “This monument here was erected in honor of those whose lives were sacrificed during that Battle for Manila. We are given the opportunity to remember the past and work hard not to repeat the war but to embrace good relations between and among people and nations, to avoid misunderstanding and to maintain peace in all corners of the world. Meanwhile, helpless, non-combatant civilians were being subjected to massive killing, torture and rape, leaving at least 100,000 dead and Manila as the second most destroyed city in the world, next to Warsaw, Poland.

Since the survivors either lost their power of speech or their sanity, it took half a century before the events that took place for the said one month were documented, until in 1955, historians concluded that what used to be called the `Liberation of Manila’ should be called the `Battle for Manila’.

Meanwhile, the Memorare Monument was built in memory of those who perished during the `Battle for Manila’.

While Intramuros has never recovered after the `mindless destruction of those beautiful colonial churches, schools and elegant residences’, precious historical records, libraries and art collections were lost forever.

Lacuna said that while the pre-war elegance of the districts of Pasig River, Ermita, Malate and Sta. Ana, the city government is doing its best to make the said areas better with a lot of modern, high-rise facilities now enhancing the landscape and covering the scars left by war and destruction.

“That battle which transpired 79 years ago, was a dark chapter for Manila. After almost eight decades, our city has fully recovered from yesterday’s bloody battles. We are all enjoying the light of the sun that shines on us in a more peaceful, free, orderly and energetic place to live as a vibrant city that we now have in Manila,” she said.

Lacuna added: “This administration of the city government of Manila values life, ensuring that every Manilenyo is well taken care of and that everyone has access to high standard of public service. We are working vigorously for the realization of a Magnificent Manila and be recognized as a world class city in the nearest future.”

Itchie G. Cabayan
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