To the Fallen 44, our Fallen Brothers:
Thank you for opening our eyes and our hearts to the people around us and waking us up from the indifference we are feeling about the issues surrounding us. While some of us cannot feel the unrest in the far-flung places in the country, the widespread poverty, and all the other difficulties most of our countrymen are facing, you showed us how few people can contribute for the good of the countless many like how you, forty-four brave souls, died for the peace of more than one hundred million Filipinos. You showed us that we are all connected and that we all have a say in the issues surrounding us. You showed us that a few can make a difference in the lives of many.
Thank you for allowing us to live in peace even when it meant that you had to pay the high cost of peace with your lives. We take our peace for granted while you spent most of your days away from your families until that fateful day when you left them for good. Your sacrifice made us appreciate the peace we are enjoying right now. We will make good use of this peace to make a difference in the lives of others who are experiencing wars and battles in their daily lives.
Thank you for teaching us how to live by dying for us. While many of us dream of a better tomorrow for ourselves and for our families, you had gone too soon to see your own dreams be realized. It pains us to see how people younger than we are had to go so soon and so unexpectedly. But no matter how soon your lives may have ended, you showed us how to live full lives by living yours for us. You showed us what it means to live—to die for others.
Thank you for showing us how to love our country. Many of us are on the verge of giving up on our country because of corruption, of poverty, of the lack of discipline, and of so many other reasons. Many of us are already losing hope that we can still rise. But, you showed us that this country is worth living and dying for. If we give up on our country now, would not your sacrifice and your lives be in vain? We will never allow that to happen. You gave us all the more reason why we should not give up on our beloved Philippines. You are true heroes this country badly needed.
Thank you for inspiring us to act. Your sacrifice lit up a fire in our hearts to do something. Right now, praying may be the only thing we can do. But, we will do our best not to stop there. You started a big enough ripple for us not to be affected. We will not wait for another Yolanda, another calamity, and another tragedy before we act and make lives better for our brothers and sisters.
Thank you for allowing us to live. While life goes on for most of us, we can no longer say the same for you. You can now only watch us, especially your families, from above. We are forever indebted to you. That’s why we will do our best to help others live meaningful and dignified lives. Our lives are no longer ours alone. We now carry the burden of living for you.
To the families of the fallen, of our heroes, thank you for your sacrifice. We lost heroes, but you lost fathers, brothers, and sons. We may never fully understand what you’re going through right now. But, we are one with you in honoring our brave brothers. We are one with you in mourning for them. We are one with you as you face a new chapter in your lives. We will always be one with you in remembering them and their sacrifice. We will try our best to be of help to you, your family, and our suffering brothers and sisters in whatever way we can.
To my countrymen, there is a long road ahead of us. There are lots of things still left to do. There are still so many issues surrounding us. The best way to honor the lives and sacrifice of our fallen brothers is to make a difference in the lives of others, especially the families they left behind, to alleviate poverty, to achieve more peace between Christians and Muslims, and to live our lives for others. Let us do everything in our power to make the world a better and more peaceful place one step, one person, and one day at a time.
We now have the responsibility to honor our Fallen 44 with how we will live our lives from this day forward.
P.S. I want to thank my friend and college classmate for stirring up the fire in me to write this tribute. Thank you for inspiring me with your immense love for our fallen brothers.