In a simple celebration, the Pangasinenses commemorated the gallantry of our veterans during the 76th Lingayen Gulf Landings and the 14th Pangasinan Veterans Day on 09 January 2021.
To prevent the transmission of the COVID 19 virus most especially to veterans who are more prone to the virus, the provincial government of Pangasinan opted for a solemn wreath laying led by Pangasinan Governor Amado I. Espino III.
Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office Malu Amor-Elduayan stated that this year’s celebration of the Lingayen Gulf Landings and Veterans Day was regulated and held privately in observance of health protocols to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
“Konti lang ang tao and we did not open it to public or even to the veterans to maintain the good practices to prevent transmission of the virus in our event,” Elduayan said. (There were only a few people and we did not open it to the public or even to the veterans to maintain good practices to prevent transmission of the virus in our event.)
Gov. Espino was joined by Col. Ronald V. Gayo, PNP Pangasinan Acting Provincial Director; Brig. Gen. Audrey L. Pasia, Brigade Commander 702, Defender Brigade, Philippine Army; Ms. Sheryl D. Simeon, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) Provincial Head, Field Service Extension Office; and Mr. Luis Santiago B. Samson III and Ms. Charmaine T. Loresco, Sons and Daughters Association Inc. representatives.
As of November 2020, there are 127 living veterans in Pangasinan. In coordination with the Pangasinan Social Welfare Development Office, the VFP Pangasinan officials and the World War II veterans will be receiving financial assistance from the Provincial Government amounting to P10,000.00, compared from last year’s P5,000. The financial assistance will be delivered to their respective residences.
The Lingayen Gulf Landings was an Allied amphibious operation in the Philippines during World War II. In the early morning of 6 January 1945, a large Allied force commanded by Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf began approaching the shores of Lingayen. U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy warships began bombarding suspected Japanese positions along the coast of Lingayen from their position in Lingayen Gulf for three days. On 9 January, the U.S. 6th Army landed on a 20 mi (32 km) beachhead between the towns of Lingayen and San Fabian.
The main objective in taking Lingayen was actually to access Mindoro. Control over the island would massively enable shattering the surrounding Imperial Japanese defenses in Luzon leading to Manila. Successfully retaking Lingayen would give a foothold for the Allied Forces to support further operations and deny the Japanese shipping lanes for supplies.
Over the next few days, a total of 203,000 soldiers landed securing a 20-mile beachhead. From there on, the Allied Forces would march south to liberate Manila eventually winning the Pacific War.