His Excellency Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan while addressing the World War II veterans during the observance of the 73rd anniversary of the landing of allied forces to liberate the country from Japanese occupation. His Grace Archbishop Socrates conveyed that the memory of Filipinos who fought during the Second World War should serve as an inspiration for young people to stand up for freedom.

As reported by ucanews.com, His Excellency Archbishop Socrates remarked that “The memories of war veterans should challenge Filipinos to stand up and live that freedom to preserve that freedom. We, who are able to enjoy the country without a war should be able to stand up as veterans during peace.” Further, His Excellency Archbishop added, “With their families, with their knees weaken, surviving veterans still carry  in their hearts the memory of freedom, the memory of peace, the memory of glorious days as Filipinos.”

In January 1945, US and Australian navy warships bombarded Japanese positions in Lingayen, Pangasinan province that allowed American troops to land days later. The Lingayen landing resulted in the liberation of the Philippines from Japanese occupation. Thousands of Filipino fighters fought alongside American troops. At the end of the war, Pangasinan province had the highest number of war Filipino veterans at more than 15,000.