Press Release
August 18, 2009

Gordon: Give proper honor to our fallen soldiers

Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) today said that the government should provide a funeral fit for a hero to all soldiers who have died in the line of service to the nation.

"I think Congress should really demand that our soldiers be given the proper respect. We should make their families feel that their kinfolk who died for our country are given the necessary honors, the proper respect, and not just monetary grant," he said.

Gordon made the statement as he commended the valiant service of members of the Philippine Marine Corps, the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police during a recent encounter with elements of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan where 23 government troops died and 21 others were injured.

"Despite the savagery faced by our troops, they fought with bravery and honor and remained faithful to their sworn duty to uphold the rule of law and show respect for human rights and human dignity," he said in filing Senate Resolution 1285.

Gordon said the resolution he filed is just a small form of comfort to the families of the soldiers who passed away; but he stressed that honoring government troops who died in the line of duty is the nation's way of showing that we give importance to the ultimate sacrifice given by our men in uniform.

"It makes me feel bad when I see that our soldiers, or some of them, are not given the proper tribute. We have seen cases wherein a Marine who was quite big was practically squished in, cramped into a small coffin. And the monetary rewards are not even regular, some get larger amounts and some meager. We've got to have a standard in these cases," he said.

"In funeral services for soldiers in other countries you would see their colleagues in measured march, measured cadence, salutes that are slowly raised to the eyebrows, in real spic and span military fashion, ramrod straight soldiers not just carrying the coffin as if carrying simply a dead body but carrying a real hero," he added.

Gordon said that a solemn and dignified funeral is a fitting tribute for any soldier who had valiantly fought to protect the nation's citizens and preserve the independence of the country.

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