Talisay marks GI landing anniversary

Posted on March 27, 2012

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Philippine Marines play the role of American soldiers while Talisay City college students are Japanese soldiers in yesterday's reenactment of the 67th anniversary of the American landing in Talisay City. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

A crowd watched “American soldiers” land on the beach of Talisay City and launch a mock battle with students dressed as Japanese soldiers yesterday.

The shoreline drama to commemorate the 67th American troops land in World War II wasn’t meant to be history book-accurate, said Rep. Eduardo Gullas of Cebu’s 1st district but served as a reminder of the heroism of Filipino war veterans.

Only four out of 96 Cebuano WW II veterans who were present in the actual landing attended yesterday.

The annual observance started with a Holy Mass followed by a military parade, a wreath laying and the reenactment of the landing done by the 82nd Army reservists and students of Talisay City College. Life-size statues of American soldiers also stood in the park by the sea.

The veterans, 94-year-old Pedong Pongcadas of Carcar City, retired Commander Sergio Rivera and retired Colonel Nards Abalo of Talisay City, said there was no actual fighting during the arrival of the American Division on March 26, 1945.

He said the U.S 8th Army led by Commander Gen. William Arnold met no opposition because the Japanese already fled at the time.

Yesterday was a holiday in Talisay City for the historic event.

In her speech, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the event reminds everyone that it’s better to cooperate for progress than plunge into war.

Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez said the new enemies of freedom are poverty and unemployment, for which new heroes are needed. /Correspondents Carmel Loise Matus and Gabriel C. Bonjoc

 

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