His Excellency Jose P. Laurel
President of the Philippines
Read by Acting Minister of the Interior Arsenio Bonifacio
At the Memorial Service in honor of Filipino Heroes
[Delivered at Mount Samat Cemetery, Bataan on November 30, 1943]
‘Peace and Plenty for All’
One year and a few odd months ago, the gallant young men who fought here to uphold the honor of Filipino manhood joined our nation’s galaxy of heroes and martyrs. These young heroes who rest in these hallowed foothills went to battle, fired by ideals of patriotism and the strong belief that their beloved country would be made happier and nobler by bold adventure. It is fitting that we honor them on this day which national custom has consecrated to the memory of those who knew how to sacrifice the interests of self and the rich pleasures of living for the sake of the dignity and welfare of the greatest number.
The sacrifice of these men who willingly tendered the golden promise of their youth to the demands of the collective welfare would remain a standing rebuke upon us, the living, if we should fail to curb the selfish and narrow passions of individualism that at present threaten to obstruct the national efforts toward economic and social reorganization. In a larger sense, those whom we gratefully remember today fought and died for the noble cause of a new world order; they had dreamed of a peaceful country, free from wants and fear, free from the shackles of foreign sovereignties, free from the blighting influences of a materialistic civilization.
It is much, therefore that, we owe the youths who sleep here now; and our gratitude and occasional remembrance would indeed be meaningless to them should we neglect to dedicate all our strivings to the great cause for which they died—peace and plenty for all, liberty and justice for all nations, equality among all races, progress for all mankind.
Source: Presidential Museum and Library