Response of Ricardo J. Romulo at the state funeral ceremonies, Cultural Center of the Philippines, December 19, 1985
Mr. President, Mrs. Marcos, Excellencies, and Friends:
My father was fond of saying that gratitude is the memory of the heart. Our hearts are indeed full to the brim with the tributes which you, Mr. President, and his former colleagues have so generously paid him this morning.
On behalf of Beth and the other members of the family, we wish to express our abiding appreciation for the courtesies and kindnesses which both of you extended to my father while he was alive, and for the honors accorded him now that he is dead. Few men have had the good fortune of being admired in life and revered in death.
That each of the governments of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, the United States of America and the Secretary General of the United Nations should see fit to send a special representative to my father’s funeral, we consider a great honor indeed, considering that he died a private citizen. That these distinguished persons happen to be his good friends and former colleagues, much esteemed and respected by him, we count as a blessing.
Bittersweet emotions assail us at this moment. We are deeply saddened by his passing and the thought that we shall never again share the warmth of his love, the comfort of his concern, and the joy of his company. However, our grief is somewhat assuaged by the sure knowledge that his years of devoted service to our people and the cause of world peace are appreciated by many here and abroad, as manifested by the outpouring of sympathy which we have received.
It is but fitting that I close my remarks with a quotation from my father. On the occasion of his retirement from public service, he said
“You are here tonight to honor one man, but in doing so you honor many. As Henry Miller said: ‘Whatever it is that I choose to regard as my story is lost, drowned, indissolubly fused with the lives, the drama, the stories of others.’ Like him, I have led multiple lives. In each I had the privilege of working closely with a few. In the course of time the few have become many. I want to share your tribute to me with them, not only because unlike material rewards, a tribute gains in value as it is shared, but also because your tribute is to an entire people. Tonight we celebrate the resiliency, the acuity, the courage of the Filipino.”
Mr. President, Mrs. Marcos, Excellencies, and friends: We thank you all for paying your last respects to a man we so dearly loved.