On November 11, 2016, Chargé d’Affaires Michael S. Klecheski offered remarks at the 2016 Veterans Day commemoration at the Manila American Cemetery in Taguig City. Veterans Day, an American holiday, was created to commemorate the formal end of major hostilities of World War I with the signing of the armistice at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
Veterans of both nations attended the event, along with Philippine Department of National Defense Undersecretary Eduardo D. del Rosario, and representatives from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Manila, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other invited guests. The ceremony included a ceremonial wreath laying, drum rolls, a 21-gun salute, and taps.
Speaking to the assembled audience, Chargé d’Affaires Klecheski emphasized the immense debt of gratitude owed to both U.S. and Filipino service members for the sacrifices made in defense of freedom.
U.S. VA Manila was a co-sponsor of the ceremony. For 94 years, the VA has had a presence in Manila. The Manila office is the only VA office located outside of the United States, a testament to the close historical ties between the two countries. As an integral part of the U.S. Mission to the Philippines, VA Manila partners with its Philippine counterparts and the many veterans service organizations to serve veterans who have served both nations.