Monday, April 24, 2017

Kin get replica of lost Purple Heart medal for Pinoy WWII vet

A Filipino World War II veteran whose Purple Heart medal got lost in the aftermath of the war received a replica of it earlier this month, according to the US Embassy in the Philippines.
A Purple Heart is a United States military honor given to those wounded or killed in the performance of their duty.
The replica of the medal was received by Elisea Alagon Jamoralin, the only surviving daughter of hte late Private First Class Adriano Alagon, in a formal ceremony at the historic Fort Shafter headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Wednesday (US time).
"Through the horrors and terror of this period, we can take what endures over the years: the freedom and sacrifices made for our two nations by Soldiers like Pfc. Alagon," said Gen. Robert B. Brown, commander of the US Army Pacific, before presenting the medal.
Alagon was originally presented the Purple Heart for his service with the 14th Engineer Battalion, Philippine Scouts, a unit that served with US forces during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines.
According to the US Embassy, Alagon "gallantly served shoulder-to-shoulder with American forces" during the Japanese occupation.
On his birthday, Alagon was captured by Japanese forces and "made to endure the horrific march across Bataan, and subsequently killed by his captors after spending nearly two years in brutal conditions as a prisoner of war."
At that time, his daughter, Elisea, was only eight years old.
Elisea is the mother of Gina Jamoralin, the Philippine Consul General in Honolulu who researched her grandfather’s saga and contacted the US Army about a replacement award.
"Today's event is the culmination of my search for answers in what might have been forgotten by succeeding generations," Jamoralin said during the ceremony on behalf of the family. "While we miss our grandfather, we are consoled by the fact he died for his country and we are deeply proud of him."
The family also brought a framed copy of an original letter signed by then President Harry Truman, saying: "He stands in the unbroken line of Patriots who have dared to die so that freedom might live, and increase its blessings. Freedom lives- and through it- he lives." Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

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