Execution of Dr. Jose Rizal

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Rizal's tomb in Paco Park (formerly Paco Cemetery).

Moments before his execution by a firing squad of Filipino native infantry, backed by an insurance force of Spanish troops, the Spanish surgeon general requested to take his pulse; it was normal. Aware of this, the Spanish sergeant in charge of the backup force hushed his men to silence when they began raising 'vivas!' with the partisan crowd. His last words were "consummatum est",--it is finished.<ref name = "Coates">Austin Coates, Rizal: Philippine Nationalist and Martyr (London: Oxford University Press, 1968) ISBN 019581519X</ref><ref name = "Laubach"/><ref>Rizal's trial was regarded a travesty even by prominent Spaniards of his day. Soon after his execution, the philosopher Miguel de Unamuno in an impassioned utterance recognized Rizal as a "Spaniard", "...profoundly and intimately Spanish, far more Spanish than those wretched men--forgive them, Lord, for they knew not what they did--those wretched men, who over his still warm body hurled like an insult heavenward that blasphemous cry, 'Viva Espana!'"Miguel de Unamuno, epilogue to Wenceslao Retana's Vida y Escritos del Dr. Jose Rizal (Retana, op. cit.)</ref>

Rizal Park, Manila

He was secretly buried in Paco Cemetery in Manila with no identification on his grave. His sister Narcisa toured all possible gravesites and found freshly turned earth at the cemetery with civil guards posted at the gate. Assuming this could be the most likely spot, there being ever no ground burials there, she made a gift to the caretaker to mark the site "RPJ."

A national monument

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A statue now stands at the place where he fell, designed by the Swiss Richard Kissling of the famed William Tell sculpture.<ref>Interestingly, Rizal himself translated Schiller's William Tell into Tagalog in 1886.[1] Accessed 10 January 2007.</ref> The statue carries the inscription I want to show to those who deprive people the right to love of country, that when we know how to sacrifice ourselves for our duties and convictions, death does not matter if one dies for those one loves – for his country and for others dear to him.<ref name = "Rizalino"/>

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