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Chitika

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial

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From Wikipedia:

“The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial is located in Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila, within the boundaries of the former Fort William McKinley. It can be reached most easily from the city by taxi or automobile via Epifano de los Santos Ave. (EDSA) to McKinley Road, then to McKinley Parkway inside the Bonifacio Global City. The Nichols Field Road is the easiest access from Manila International Airport to the cemetery.

The cemetery, 152 acres (62 ha) or 615,000 square metres in area, is located on a prominent plateau, visible at a distance from the east, south and west. With a total of 17,206 graves, it has the largest number of graves of any cemetery for U.S. personnel killed during World War II and holds war dead from the Philippines and other allied nations. Many of the personnel whose remains are interred or represented were killed in New Guinea, or during the Battle of the Philippines (1941–42) or the Allied recapture of the islands. The headstones are made of marble which are aligned in eleven plots forming a generally circular pattern, set among a wide variety of tropical trees and shrubbery. The Memorial is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission.

The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except December 25 and January 1.

Last year, I was fortunate enough to visit this site located in Taguig City. It’s a solemn place to think about World War II and it’s aftermath, particularly here in the Philippines and South-East Asia. There is a shrine at the end of the memorial showing the list of American and Filipino soldiers who died during the war.

The shrine also displays the map of World War II in the Pacific. I hope that during the Memorial Day 2014 celebrations, Americans who are in the country would visit this sacred grounds. Memorial Day is a US holiday honoring Americans who died serving their country in military.

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The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in Bonifacio Global City has so many large trees like these. It’s definitely a nice place to relax and ponder about the past. I wonder if there is a celebration here during the Memorial Day 2014 event.

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The graves of the fallen American and Filipino soldiers of World War II are marked by either a cross or a Magen David (for Jewish soldiers).

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The Shrine at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. You’ll learn a lot about World War II from this building.

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The names of the fallen American and Filipino soldiers are engraved in these walls at The Shrine.

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Maps about the different campaigns during World War II are displayed on the walls of The Shrine.

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The Shrine also acknowledges the fallen Philippine Scouts during World War II 1941-45.

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The floor of The Shrine has all the Seals of the 50 States of the USA.

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The maps of the World War II campaign are made up of mosaic. It’s very detailed and marvelous.

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The details of the bas-relief of The Shrine at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in BGC Taguig City.

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A lone tree stands amidst a filed of white crosses at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.

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White crosses at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in Taguig City. I wonder if they’re going to place a small American flag in each of these crosses during Memorial Day 2014.

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A marble cross for each heroes of World War II in South East Asia. Let’s remember the fallen Filipinos too during Memorial Day 2014.

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The building near the entrance where visitors to The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial needs to register. I love the leaflet that they are giving away – it’s very informative.

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Details of the Eagle-inspired grill of The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.

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View of The Shrine from the entrance of The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.

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