TAGUIG City, Nov. 2, 2012—As you light a candle for your departed loved ones this All Souls’ Day, light a candle too for those who have lost their lives so that others may live.
This was what Fr. (Captain) Ferdinand Abuyuan, chaplain of the Army Support Command (ASCom), said as he blesses graves at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in this city. The 117-hectare cemetery is home to fallen soldiers and heroes, most of whom died in the pursuit of their duty to the country.
Abuyuan said it is fitting to pray too for the eternal repose of the souls of fallen soldiers and other servicemen such as police, firefighters and peacekeepers “in recognition of their effort to defend democracy, freedom and peace.”
“Part and parcel of being a soldier is to offer their lives to the benefit of their country. The soldiers’ giving of themselves is very similar to what Jesus did when he gave up his life in the Cross for the salvation of man,” he said.
Being ASCom chaplain, Abuyuan said it is his duties to nurture and support the living soldiers who are in active duty, to care for the wounded and sick, and to bury fallen comrades and console the families they left behind.
Abuyuan said it is consoling the families of the soldiers who died in action that is the “hardest” of all his duties.
“It is very hard to console the families and to make them accept the sudden death of their loved ones, especially those victims of atrocities, calamities or wars. They often ask why such tragedy happened and find hard to accept it,” he said.
Aside from asking the lay faithful to light a candle for the soul of fallen soldiers, Abuyuan also urged them to pray for the families they left behind. For his part, he said he is always present to give them spiritual support.
“I always console them and advise them to always accept the will of God and not to lose trust in Him,” he added.
The Libingan ng mga Bayani houses the gravesites of thousands of army, navy, marines and air force servicemen, apart from two presidents, 22 dignitaries, 16 chiefs of staff, and 41 artists, scientists and boy scouts.
As least 47,682 remains are interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, only 22,125 of which are identified with Crosses. (YouthPinoy)