In April of 1942, the Japanese had pushed the American and Filipino Soldiers to the Mount Samat area. Having no food, water and munitions, 78,000 men surrendered. This is the largest surrender of American troops in history. Immediately following was the Bataan Death March and subsequent imprisonment that led to the brutal deaths of over 70,000 men.
It is on top of this distant mountain that a Shrine of Valor and a Memorial Cross were erected.
The Memorial Cross construction was begun in 1966 and finished in 1970 in time for the 25th anniversary of the ending of WWII in the Pacific.
The Memorial Cross is 92 meters high (about 300 ft) and 30 meters across (about 100 ft) at the point of the cross. It is hard to imagine how big this is. It took over a minute in the elevator to reach the viewpoint area.
From the viewpoint area you can see buses and large vans at the Shrine below.
The view is spectacular as you see north to the mountains. Directly behind us would be the view of Manila in the distance. Yeah, that photo got lost to the gremlins.
At the end of the viewpoint was a port window. Best view in the Philippines.
While in the top of the cross, we met a wonderful group of students. They were there on that Saturday on a field trip with class members and teachers.
During discussion with their teachers, we felt impressed to talk about the initiatives we are working on. They want to know more about our investigation into school libraries and clinics. We will visit this school in Antipolo, Rizal in weeks to come.
Amazing what we find when we keep our eyes and ears open.