Death of a hero

by Ramon T. Ayco
(First publish in my “Culture Column” in Pinoy Reporter’s August issue. Exactly, the newspaper was released for public in August 1, 2009, the day Ninoy Aquino’s wife Corazon C. Aquino -former President of the Republic of the Philippines and an icon of democracy for being the leader of Philippines’ People Power I that topples the Marcos dictatorship -- died due to colon cancer.)

Former President Cory Aquino

Cory Aquino's burial

Cory and Ninoy

This August 21, the nation will commemorate the 26th death anniversary of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., or simply Ninoy, who was assassinated on the year 1983. My eldest daughter, Ayan, was born 20 days before Ninoy was assassinated. So she will also turn 26 as she celebrate her birthday this coming August 1. Maybe because of this connection, she might have some personal attachment to Ninoy Aquino. But I’m sure, what she knew about Ninoy is something like what she knew about Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio and other historical figures which is very academic. Yes, Ninoy Aquino is already a history.

Ninoy’’s dead body at the MIA tarmac

Ninoy Aquino's Burial

Ninoy Aquino

When Ninoy died, a million people mourned in his wake and marched in his funeral. This fact will remain as it became part of history, but the feelings from the intense grieving and agony of those people cannot

be passed thru the next generations. The generation of today cannot experience the same feelings of grieving and agony anymore. During the Spanish colonial time, the same mourning at the wake and marching at the funeral of a dead hero also happened. But all the people during those time, the people who mourned and grieved for the hero, the people who killed the hero, even the people who didn’t knew the death of the hero, all of them have died. Yes, nobody can escape the spell of death, but not everybody will be remembered. Heroes are immortalized by their great deeds that contribute to the progress of a nation. Some people say it is better to be a living coward than to be a dead hero. Why, do cowards never die? As we commemorate Ninoys death anniversary, we have to realize that many people on that period have passed away one by one -- from among those who mourned and grieved for his death as well as from among his assassins “ -- but Ninoy will live forever just like all other heroes. ***

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