The Philippine-American War Memorial Day takes place on February 4 every year. It could be considered a continuation of the Philippines’ revolution against Spanish rule during the Philippine-American War, or the Philippine Insurrection between 1899 and 1901. But why did the war happen? Stay tuned to find out.
History of Philippine-American War Memorial Day
By the end of the Spanish-American War, Spain was defeated and the war concluded with the Treaty of Paris, under which the Philippines’ jurisdiction was transferred from Spain to the United States. Consequently, the United States attempted to annex the Philippines and stood in the way of its independence. Naturally, the Filipino leaders, who had control over the whole archipelago except Manila, retaliated.
The Philippine-American War ensued between the United States and Filipino revolutionaries from 1899 to 1902, when the U.S finally suppressed the revolt. 1902 marked the official end of the battle, but occasional combat continued for many years. The U.S. kept its authority on the archipelago uninterrupted until 1946, except during World War II.
Philippine-American War Memorial Day timeline
The war officially begins.
In April, the U.S. and Aguinaldo finally make peace.
U.S. military rule of the Philippines comes to an end.
Although the battle is officially over, combat continues for several years.
Philippine-American War Memorial Day FAQs
How long did the United States rule the Philippines?
It rules for 48 years during its colonial rule. It began in 1898 when Spain gave the Philippines to the United States and continued until 1946 when the United States officially recognized the Philippines as an independent nation.
Why did the United States of America go to war with the Philippines?
Because the United States refused to recognize the Philippines’ declaration of independence and instead annexed the country as a result of the Treaty of Paris.
How many lives were lost?
More than 200,000 Filipino citizens died. Reasons included conflict, starvation, and disease. Approximately 1,500 of the 4,300 Americans who died were killed in action, while nearly twice as many died from sickness.
How to Observe Philippine-American War Memorial Day
Think about people who lost their lives while serving their country, praying for a better future without these tragedies. It is important not to forget the past.
Read up or even watch a documentary about the War. Learn about how it impacted both Filipinos and Americans.
Spread your newly gained knowledge among people you know and on social media accounts. Start an online conversation.
5 Interesting Facts About The Philippine-American War
Many essentials were lacking during the time of war, including blankets, mosquito nets, half-shelter units, entrenching tools, and gas masks.
Crimes against humanity
Both sides dirtied their hands with heinous atrocities and crimes against humanity, including torture, mutilation, and execution.
The U.S. administration and media justified the annexation of the Philippines under the pretext of liberating and defending the former Spanish colonies' citizens.
From 1904 until 1906, the island of Samar was the site of the final coordinated resistance against the American invasion.
Despite Aguinaldo's declaration of loyalty to the United States and his demand to stop hostilities, the guerilla campaign only got more intense.
Why Philippine-American War Memorial Day is Important
It’s about remembrance
If we keep remembering the horrors of war, who knows; we might become more hesitant about waging more wars in the future. We need to prevent further mistakes.
It’s about freedom
Like all human beings, Filipinos longed for freedom. What could make them happier than officially gaining their freedom after a long fight?
It’s about acknowledgment
Admitting to having a problem is the very first step towards a solution. Both sides acknowledging the atrocities they committed could make the first step towards a brighter future.
Philippine-American War Memorial Day dates