Sunday, July 7, 2013


   We had an opportunity to visit the American Cemetery in Bonifacio Global City for a Memorial Day Service. This is one of the cities that make up Metro-Manila. Over 38,000 names are listed on the walls of this memorial as missing in action and over 17,000 are buried here as a remembrance of the atrocities of war and in particular WWII. Most are Americans at this site, but many Filipinos are also recognized here.

On Saturday morning the day before the Memorial Service, we had the opportunity to help other groups in placing American and Filipino flags at the site of every grave in the cemetery. People would go ahead of us and plug the ground so we could easily put the flags behind each grave marker.

It was a spectacular site to see this view as we completed the placement of flags that morning. This is a memorial day I will never forget.

    Sunday morning was the day of the Service. Many writhes were placed at the monument for the service and were given by many American and Filipino groups in remembrance of the WWII memorial.  This one was given by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Another was given by the Makati Fourth Branch Boy Scouts of America and another by LDS Charities.

  Each represented a time to recall the great sacrifices by Men and Women of great courage and commitment in the Armed Forces of both countries as they fought for freedom in this far off land.

Traditional military uniforms were wore by many of the Filipino Armed Forces that day that represented years of commitment our two countries have had.

Tradition uniforms were also worn by the elite band assembled for this day. Modern uniforms were worn by others that participated in the service.

A writhe for the unknown soldier was placed by representatives from both countries. I missed a photo of a young American Girl and a Filipino Boy that paid tribute in similar fashion.

    We heard very encouraging words from the US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr. as he spoke of our commitment to each other in protecting the Peace that came at a great price. He also spoke of today and tomorrow's effort to continue our strong bond with each other.

I truly see the strength that our commitment to each other is having and  is working in a day to day way. This is the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts that were assisting the audience that day that is comprised of both American and Filipino youth. Being an American, I am truly grateful for the sacrifices both countries made in the cause of Freedom. The Filipino people have really sacrificed for the tremendous damage of life, lives and country due to the brutalities of war by the Japanese. But they are strong and making things better even to this day. They continue to grow as a people as they have opportunities presented to them. I love the Filipinos more each day.

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