The Funeral Oration of President Carlos P. Garcia at the necrological service for Don Sergio Suico Osmeña Sr.

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

Don Sergio Suico Osmeña Sr. died on October 19, 1961. This was delivered by President Garcia on October 26, 1961 (Part 1):

“MY COUNTRYMEN: ANOTHER life of love is now only a blessed memory. It has passed beyond our horizon, beyond the twilight’s purple hills to that vast realm of silence we call death.

“We are gathered in this historical hall, drawn together by a common and profound bereavement, to pay heartfelt tribute and bid sad farewell to one of the greatest men ever born to the Filipino race—Sergio Osmeña. In life, he was a gentle and beloved friend, a well-loved husband and father, a firm and wise leader, a peerless kind greathearted statesman, a broad-visioned and selfless patriot. In death, he joins the ranks of our illustrious immortals to become forever the pride and the inspiration of the nation he helped to build, served so well, and loved so dearly.

“Sergio Osmeña was God’s rare and timely gift to the Filipino people at a critical hour in the life of the Motherland. He burst upon the national scene at the moment when our people, having suffered a humiliating and numbing defeat in war, were bewildered and lost, without pride in their past, indifferent to the meaning of freedom, and thoughtless and heedless of the future, Sergio Osmeña opened to them a new vision and direction and awakened in them a new purpose and a new hope and a new spirit. He led them back to the true road to freedom and fulfillment that Jose Rizal had marked well but from which they had unfortunately strayed away. He was a pioneer, a torch-bearer, a toiler when his country was down. In this historic task, it was as if he combined the great night of right and the cloudless mental vision that appearances cannot deceive, that flattery cannot blind, and threats cannot deflect. The historian of Philippine freedom therefore will be compelled to write the name of Sergio Osmeña on the Tablet of Eternity.

“Sergio Osmeña took the helm of our national destiny with hands made firm by inspired wisdom. He bore the signet of Eternity. It was he who established Philippine-American cooperation on a plane of equality, mutual recognition, and mutual respect. It was he who interpreted America to the Filipinos and the Philippines to the Americans with rare insight kind understanding and faithfulness. It was he who turned mutual distrust into mutual friendship, mutual suspicion into mutual trust, mutual hostility into enduring amity. “It was lie who gave America’s political program in the Philippines the flesh and blood and spirit that made of the Philippine Assembly a Filipino triumph in self-government and the precursor of eventual independence on one hand, and, on the other hand, America’s springboard to that great adventure in altruism which eventually gave the world an enlightened formula for the liquidation of colonialism and the liberation of all subjected races. The heroic Philippine-American stand in Corregidor and Bataan was a magnificent flowering of the seeds he had sown and the plant he had nourished with care and devotion.” (To be continued)

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