Ambassador Sung Kim’s Remarks
Memorial Day, May 25, 2020
Good morning and thank you all for joining me this Memorial Day in honoring military members who have sacrificed so much. I am grateful that our colleagues at the American Battle Monuments Commission are virtually honoring the more than 200,000 U.S. service members buried at their sites around the world, using the hashtag #alone-together-we-honor.
This year is a very special Memorial Day as it marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, a war that cemented the deep and enduring ties between the United States and the Philippines. Brave U.S. and Filipino soldiers, together, liberated the nation and relieved the suffering of millions. Their sacrifice serves as the foundation of the strong relationship our two countries enjoy today. We became allies for freedom in that dark time; and 75 years later, our countries remain steadfast partners.
As part of 75th anniversary commemorations, I had the privilege to meet and pay tribute to many incredible World War II veterans, presenting Congressional Gold Medals to courageous Filipinos who served alongside U.S. soldiers. It has been truly inspiring to learn about the amazing acts of heroism, courage, and sacrifice of brave Filipino and American soldiers. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to honor them and help ensure their legacy lives on.
This year’s ceremonies at University of Santo Tomas, a former internment camp that was home to more than 3,000 American prisoners, and even here at the Embassy, where we honored those who fought bravely to retake Corregidor, served as poignant reminders of the sacrifices made by so many Americans and Filipinos.
The best way for us to honor the memories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the benefit of future generations is to carry forward the U.S.-Philippines relationship as friends, partners, and allies. We will do so with unwavering commitment and profound appreciation for our veterans’ service and sacrifice. Thank you very much.