Without the past, there would be no future. This saying holds true to many things. Without the invention of the telegram, we would not have the modern phones and cell phones we have today. Without the creation of the abacus, faster calculating methods we have now may not have existed. Without the bloodshed of our forefathers, we may not have obtained the peace and individuality as a nation that we have today.
Yes, because of the sacrifices and deaths of those that came before use, we may have never become the proud and patriotic nation we are right now. If Jose Rizal had not died for his publication for the sake of the Filipinos, we would still have been an uneducated and disunited nation. If Gabriela Silang had not taken up arms alongside men, Filipino women would not be too keen to exercise their rights with a passion. If Antonio Luna had not gone against the system, we would have still been under the thumb of Spanish rulers.
All the heroes of the past who have left this world and moved on to the next have each given us a gift: the gift of freedom. This gift helps us find our voice as a nation to rise up and be proud of who we are. To fight for what we believe is right and to claim what we know we deserve. The bloodshed in the past helped us buy the peace that we have today. The wars fought and the graves dug back then were to ensure that we, the future generations, would not go through such atrocities and that we would live better and more fulfilling lives. The people of today can even revere these great heroes, both nameless soldiers and legendary figures, on the different monuments around the country like in the "Heroes Cradle" in Bataan.
The next time you enjoy the feeling of the ocean on your feet or fly across the world to enjoy a well-deserved vacation, remember that what you have right now might not have been possible had those heroes not risen up and took arms for their country.
This August 25, 2016, on National Heroes Day, remember those who fought for the country and sought to make life better for those who are living in it right now. Owe to them the life of love and freedom you are able to live today and honor each and every sacrifice they made.