Manila American Cemetery – WWII War Memorial

Click any images to see at a much larger size.
Manila American Cemetery and WWII (World War II) war memorial and battle monument isin what used to be Fort Bonifacio but is now Bonifaccio Global City, part of Taguig city.

is the largest of 24 cemeteries Built and administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission.  Click the image to the left to see more details.
More than 17,000 American and Filipinos who served with American forces are buried here.  More than 36,000 American and Filipinos are listed on the Walls of the Missing   (MIA).

War is hell, is not just a saying.  From the invasion of the Philippines just 10 hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, to the until the final liberation by Allied forces, more than 65,000 Americans, 300,000 Japanese and more than 1 million Filipinos died.  These photographs speak to the Americans and Filipinos serving with American forces.  They are a small portion of the total losses and horror of the worst war in human history.   It is estimated that 50-60 million people died world-wide, due to World War II.

Some would say that such monuments server only to glorify war, but if they believe that they miss the real message which is to remember the sacrifices of those who have gone before us and to remember the horrors of war so that in the future we might find ways to avoid war all together.
I am a veteran, the last of 3 generations of who volunteered to serve our country.  I was fortunate and never saw the horrors of war first hand but my grandfather and one brother did.  The scars and nightmares remained with them for the rest of their lives.
War is sometime forced upon nations by those who crave power and control but we should never forget the sacrifices or the price paid by those who gave all that the rest of us may live.  Some whose lives will live on in history and some whose names are lost… except to those who will never know what happened to their loved ones.
The one thing I wonder, is how many of future generations will remember those who sacrificed for them that they may live and be free and how many will even care.   How many will learn the lessons of the past so they may be prevented in the future.  How many will truly care about the sacrifices made by their ancestors.
Click to see a larger version for all photos.
I wonder how many will actually look at these images and make it to the bottom of this post.  How many will actually set aside some of their daily concerns and desires and dare to remember, dare to contemplate the sacrifices of their ancestors and the many who gave everything for the sake of the greater good.
There is no glory in war, but there is sometimes honor.  And there is always sacrifice.
Deep inside, I pray that my generation will be the last scarred by the horrors of war, yet I already see the generations after, paying the price.  I wonder when humanity will no longer allow those few who crave power and control to sacrifice the loved ones of the many and will stand and say with one voice.  NO MORE!!  Only when all nations and all humanity stand with one voice and with a heart of tolerance and love, will the sacrifice of those who gave all, be worth it.   Only when all the people of earth say “no more” will the sacrifice, the sadness and the madness end.
I am a veteran and I volunteered to serve.  In that I have no regret.  I was fortunate in that I did not see battle, but I will never forget the sacrifices of those who did.  For only when we remember can we learn, and only when we learn can we affect change.   Then the madness can end.   There is only one race, the human race.  There is only one nation, the people of earth.    When we learn that in our hearts and minds, then  we can live in peace and end the madness that has plagued humanity for so long.

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