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US Ambassador’s Speech During the 75th Anniversary of the Fall of Corregidor

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On the 6th of May 1942, the island fortress of Corregidor (Fort Mills), which protects the entryway of Manila Bay, surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Forces who had defeated the resistance at the Bataan Peninsula. The Fall of Corregidor means the defeat of the United States in the Philippines and the Far East after almost 5 months of fighting the opposing forces. It involved 800 soldiers of the 4th Marines Regiment, thousands of soldiers, sailors and Filipino troops who fought a bloody battle to defend the island and to prevent the invasion of the City of Manila from the Imperial Japanese forces.

 

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Officers of the Philippine Military Academy with His Excellency Sung Kim (U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines) and Major General Delfin Lorenzana (Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines, Armed Forces of the Philippines)

Now, 75 years later, we commemorate the anniversary of the Fall of Corregidor. The US Ambassador to the Philippines arrived in Corregidor island in V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and helicopters. Distinguished members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Navy, Philippines Military Academy and executives of the Philippine Department of Tourism graced the occasion. There was a wreath laying ceremony at the Pacific War Memorial, Dome Altar, in honour of the American and Filipino troops who defended Corregfidor.

 

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Although the Surrender of Corregidor is a chapter in history that is about defeat, all other battles fought from 1942-1945 by the Filipinos and Americans led to the eventual victory and the end of World War II in the Pacific. The story of Corregidor is also a reminder of the deep relationship between the Philippines and America that endured through hard times and overwhelming odds. This legacy of friendship, cooperation and victory is best represented right here in Corregidor Island.

 

“The United States is proud to have a true partner in the Philippines. Our alliance is strong, enduring, and poised to meet the challenges of the future. Even as we speak here today, our nations’ militaries are preparing to train shoulder-to-shoulder in Balikatan 33. We do so not because we want war, but because, like the defenders of Corregidor, 75 years ago, we strive for peace.”

~ H.E. Sung Kim, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines

 

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Ambassador Sung Kim
Remarks, 75th Corregidor Commemoration
Corregidor Island
6 May 2017, Saturday at 12:00nn

 

“Good morning and thank you. Secretary Lorenzana, General Carolina, Brigadier General Jansen, Director Matibag, Colonel Norton, my friend Ambassador Hart, and our other distinguished guests, it is my great honor to be here with you today. It is especially meaningful that my first trip to Corregidor Island is for such an important day.

 

Let me first thank Mr. Matibag and the Corregidor Foundation for making this event possible and for their efforts to preserve the history of Corregidor Island.

 

I am grateful that General Jansen, Colonel Norton and the Marines of the 4th Marine Regiment are here. Your presence here today reminds us all of the Marine Corps’ dedication and commitment to its history and to its allies in the Philippines.

 

And I am honored that Secretary Lorenzana, General Carolina, and other great Filipino friends have joined us. Your presence makes this event much more meaningful.

 

As allies, friends and partners, our two great nations have faced together both triumph and adversity.

 

We gather today to honor and commemorate men and women who displayed amazing bravery, honor, courage and dignity in the face of tremendous adversity.

 

As we stand here today, strong, proud friends and allies, it’s hard to imagine this beautiful island as it was 75 years ago, reduced to a barren wasteland from months of artillery strikes. It is also challenging to visualize this quiet, peaceful space replete with the hundreds who died on its beaches. And it’s difficult to imagine the crippling sense of fear and uncertainty experienced by some 13,000 Filipinos and Americans who defended this island until this day 75 years ago.

 

But it is our duty to remember. The heroes of Corregidor remind us of what is best in all of us. We remember these heroes in the hope that they will inspire us to be better allies, better citizens, and better people.

 

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Officers of the Philippine Military Academy with U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. John Jansen and U.S. Marine Colonel,. Kevin A. Norton. Brig. Gen. Jansen is the commanding general of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Deputy Commanding General of the III Marine Expeditionary Force. Col. Norton is the Commanding Officer of the 4th Marine Regiment, Camp Commander, Camp Schwab, MCIPAC, Okinawa, Japan.

 

The sacrifices of every American and Filipino who fought together in defense of our nations during that terrible war forged an unshakeable bond between our two peoples. In the aftermath of World War II, our two nations, together with many others, built a rules-based order that continues to promote and sustain security, stability, economic progress, and democratic principles throughout the Asia Pacific region.

 

The United States is proud to have a true partner in the Philippines. Our alliance is strong, enduring, and poised to meet the challenges of the future. Even as we speak here today, our nations’ militaries are preparing to train shoulder-to-shoulder in Balikatan 33. We do so not because we want war, but because, like the defenders of Corregidor, 75 years ago, we strive for peace.

 

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas at mabuhay ang Amerika. Thank you very much.”

 

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75th Anniversary of the Fall of Corregidor

 

Credit: Staff Sgt. Michael Mason | Date Taken: 05/06/2017
U.S. and Philippine government officials attend a ceremony to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Fall of Corregidor during World War II on Corregidor, Cavite, May 6, 2017. The ceremony was held to commemorate the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Filipinos who fought and sacrificed to defend the Philippines during World War II. (U.S. Marine Video by Sgt. David J. Adams)

 

 

 

Author: Marcelle Villegas
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Photo source:
Poster and Ambassador Sung Y. Kim – by Corregidor Foundation
All other photos – by Marcelle Villegas for Expatch
Reference:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCH25BAzrzQ

 

Acknowledgement:
Thank you to Ms. Emma Nagy and Mr. Kevin O’Connor of U.S. Embassy in the Philippines.

Thank you to Mrs. Leslie Ann Murray, Filipino-American Memorial Endowment (FAME) and American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines for the invitation.

 

Mabuhay!

 

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