I just read on the AP news:
MANILA, Philippines – Former President Corazon Aquino, who swept away a dictator with a “people power” revolt and then sustained democracy by fighting off seven coup attempts in six years, died on Saturday, her son said. She was 76.
The uprising she led in 1986 ended the repressive 20-year regime of Ferdinand Marcos and inspired nonviolent protests across the globe, including those that ended Communist rule in eastern Europe.
Most of you have probably shed tears over the death of someone you never knew, and this was the case for me as I read the news of this amazing woman and one of my heroes of democracy.
Cory (as she was called) Aquino was a Christian and a deeply devout woman of prayer. I do not pass lightly over that fact. She trusted in the mighty God of all nations to end the repressive dictatorship in her beloved Philippines. Cory had to trust God through many trials. She had been a homemaker, raising four daughters and a son. Her husband was imprisoned by President Ferdinand Marcos because of his outspoken criticism of the regime, for the long years of 1972-1980. She was then widowed, with her husband Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., the opposition leader, being assassinated as he stepped off a plane in 1983. She was suddenly thrust into a very different role.
Her presidency was not perfect, but what she did was to bring a gift to the table that echoed around the world. Freedom is like that. What happened in eastern Europe in the late 1980s is one of her legacies. The relatively non-violent overthrow of Soviet-style communism (and the ending of the Cold War), beginning in Poland, moving on to Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Romania, can be traced to the inspiration of Corazon Aquino, and what she called “Prayer Power.”
Here is a short excerpt from a 1995 University of Oregon Commencement Address given by Corazon Aquino:
I found in public service qualities I did not think I had, and because of Prayer Power, reserves and strength and faith I never suspected. Perhaps, not all of us can do it all the time. And I am greatly relieved to be able to live my own life again. But I believe we must all serve others some time. Service to others, service to our communities, and to our brothers and sisters throughout the world can be fulfilling and addictive. The next time your neighbor, your community or someone somewhere in a country less fortunate than your own calls for help and tempts you again to serve – take my advice – just say yes and find yourself.