US replaces lost Purple Heart medal of Filipino war hero
The United States government has awarded a replica of a Purple Heart medal to the family of a Philippine Scout who fought in World War II.
The US Embassy in Manila said in a statement that Gen. Robert B. Brown, Commanding General of the United States Army Pacific, presented the replica to the daughter of Private First Class Adriano Alagon.
Alagon was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart but it was lost in the aftermath of the World War II, the Embassy said.
His daughter, Elisea Alagon Jamoralin, received the replica in behalf of the family.
The statement said the formal turnover of the medal was held at Fort Shafter headquarters in Honolulu, “a building used during World War II to plan for the liberation of the Philippines in 1944.”
Brown, who presented the medal, said “Through the horrors and terror of this period, we can take what endures over the years: the freedom and sacrifices made for our two nations by soldiers like Pfc. Alagon.”
Alagon, a member of the 14th Engineer Battalion of the Philippine Scouts, served with American forces during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. He was captured by the Japanese on his birthday and was forced to participate in the infamous Bataan Death March. He was killed after two years of being a prisoner of war.
Alagon’s granddaughter Philippine Consul General in Honolulu Gina Jamoralin was the one who contacted the US Army for the replacement medal.
“Today’s event is the culmination of my search for answers in what might have been forgotten by succeeding generations,” she said. “While we miss our grandfather, we are consoled by the fact he died for his country and we are deeply proud of him.” KS/JE/rga