Celebrate ‘heroes’ day with community service, public urged

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MANILA, August 23, 2012— A day after the nation commemorated the death of former senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr,, a Catholic priest urged the public to mark the day of  ‘Ninoy’ more meaningfully by doing community service for the benefit of society.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Youth Commission’s Fr. Conegundo Garganta said that the commemoration of a hero can be done in many ways, but for the priest a more productive and meaningful way to do it is to do community service for the benefit of the public.

Offering one’s service or time for the good of the community could be a concrete program to mark Ninoy’s day or of other national heroes, he stressed.

Although Ninoy’s death brought inspiration to all Filipinos and change in Philippine society, the priest however, doubts if the zeal inspired by his death is still strong in the hearts of his countrymen.

“In order for him to be remembered greatly, the government and school administrations must find a concrete way to provide programs that will make his life memories or spirit of self-giving be really remembered and rooted in everybody’s heart,” Garganta said.

The priest believes that instead of a class holiday during Ninoy Aquino day or any other hero’s day, it is better that students should immerse themselves in doing community service as part of a program of remembering our heroes so that the youth must also feel that they are heroes in their own way.

“One way can be Community Service Day for all Filipinos, that as a Filipino remembering Ninoy for his work, we will be able to say that even for a day, a person is a hero and can experience being one by helping in cleaning sidewalks or the streets or any other means of community service, which we feel is necessary nowadays. [Then], maybe we [would no longer] see wastes in any part or place in our country,” he added.

Garganta emphasized that people can do many things to help lessen the country’s many  problems, like planting trees, or clean rivers, dams and waterways of debris that hinder the flow of water.

“Yes, we pray, we thank the Lord that we have a hero, thanking Him for the life offered, just as Jesus did for us. But there are more concrete and positive actions, responses that could communicate our gratitude to this person, to this hero. The government must also be firm in these steps, even schools must be strong to these concepts and the Church as well,” he furthered.  (Jandel Posion)

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