Justice for 44

We all fall. At some moments in our life, we fall down from the normal path of our life. We find ourselves in sorrow, grief, disappointment, and anger. But falling down also means getting up to where we were originally standing. However, for some people they cannot get up after a downfall.

Fallen soldiers. It’s not a new phrase anymore. It’s not also a cliche, because the more it’s used the more it becomes painful to hear. We will all die, at a time nobody knows. Some people get the maximum opportunity to enjoy and cherish life with their loved ones before they pass away. While others meet an unexpected death, leaving everyone in shock and sorrow. Fallen in the phrase “fallen soldiers” refers to the moment a soldier falls to the ground. How a bullet from the enemy hits his heart, and from the impact the soldier falls backward. Whenever he’s thinking of the pain or the picture of his family in his wallet, the soldier remains on the ground. He has fallen, a softer term for death.

Forty-four soldiers return home to their families this day. From where they have fallen, they travel riding an airplane. Upon arrival, they are greeted by officials, comrades, family, and friends. They are dubbed as heroes of the nation. As they come down, there are no cheers, no claps, no victory sounds that usually accompany a hero’s welcome celebration. Instead, there are salutes, tears, and prayers. Instead of a celebration, the nation falls silent in observance of the national day of mourning.

At the end of the day, the military band plays the Taps. It signals the end of the day. It also salutes and signals the end of the journey of forty-four soldiers as their legacy are engraved into history.

The tragedy that involved 44 PNP-SAF (Philippine National Police-Special Action Forces) happened some days ago. But until this moment, the memory still lingers in the air. Media coverage was extensive, so many angles, views, opinions, and investigations kept popping. People were blaming government officials and government officials kept passing the supposed “responsibility” to each other. There were no solid facts, only that 44 soldiers died while hunting one foreign terrorist.

A lot of people have already shared their sentiments on social media. Some were one-sided, blaming everyone for everything. Some were not sure what to think of, but they share their grief with the 44 fallen soldiers.

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