MANUEL A. ROXAS AND CAPAS, TARLAC
Two years before his death, President Manuel Acuna Roxas delivered a speech on November 30, 1946, in the present Capas National Shrine before an audience of about 10,000 people, many of whom were widows and kins of the war heroes.
In his speech, he described Capas as sacred soil. An excerpt from his speech is written as follows:
“Capas is a name that will long live in the memory of our people as the stage for a tremendous holocaust. And as the field of Bagumbayan where Rizal fell, the victim of tyrannical rule, has now become a spot for inspiring patriotism, I expect that this sacred soil on which we stand will in time become a shrine of patriotism which succeeding generations of Filipinos will visit revere and emulate the lives and deeds of the heroes and martyrs that lie here under the sod. I wish that all the school children of the Philippines should come to this place to feel the mystic effect of the surrounding landscape and with their own eyes see how many men have given up their lives for their country and for the liberty that they cherish. To that end, this spot has been dedicated as a national cemetery. In this place, we should erect a more appropriate monument to immortalize the deeds of these brave men and the priceless principles for which they fought.”
Photo 1: Former President Manuel A. Roxas (ctto)