San Fernando City marks 76th year of freedom from Japanese forces

By Caren Grace R. Cabanayan

SAN FERNANDO CITY, Mar. 20 (PIA) — The City Government of San Fernando in La Union commemorated the 76th year of liberation from the Japanese forces on Friday, March 19.

This historic event is known as the victory of the Battle of Bacsil Ridge, the most famous battle site in the region which is a mountainous terrain located 10-kilometer east of the city proper where Filipino soldiers along with United States allies fought hard against the guerillas.  

Acting City Mayor Alfredo Pablo Ortega III led the wreath laying and torch lighting ceremony and a 21-gun salute at the battlefield’s symbolical marker and monument in remembrance of the liberation and to honor the fallen soldiers, may it be Filipinos or Japanese, during World War II.

This year’s commemoration goes with the theme, “Pag-alala sa mga bayani sa panahon the pandemya.”

Ortega recognized the bravery and courage of the Filipino soldiers on the Battle of Bacsil Ridge which was led by the province’s very own great Hufano brothers, Gregorio and Johnny.

The acting city mayor hoped that the city peoples’ hearts may be filled with the same spirit that their local heroes had to win today’s war against the pandemic.

In his message in a short program after an ecumenical mass, he said, “When we think about the struggles our heroes went through, it gives us the strength and inspiration to continue to fight our battles now.”

“I encouraged everybody to embrace the same kind of spirit that fueled our forefathers, our heroes, for us to overcome the battle we are facing now… a battle against the enemy we cannot see,” he added.

This victory against the Japanese forces paved the way for the fall of the Bessang Pass and for General Tomoyuki Yamashita to surrender.

“We have to tell our kids what transpired before. They have to know history. And we must continue to tell them that,” Ortega said as he stressed the significance of the yearly commemoration. (JCR/AMB/CGRC/PIA La Union)