Sunday, May 29, 2011

MEMORIAL DAY MEMORIES


U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry K. Thomas and Elder and Sister Bird


Children Who Placed Roses in Memory of their Father's Killed in War





General Gary North and the Birds





View of American Memorial Cemetery





Happy Memorial Week-end to all. We attended Memorial Day services at the American Memorial Cemetery in the Global City area of Manila. It’s not that far from where we live. It was a most spiritual and emotional event. In this cemetery are buried 17,202 soldiers from W.W. II and another 36,000 plus, whose bodies were never found, have their names listed on memorial walls around the center of the cemetery. It’s the largest memorial cemetery of its kind anywhere. We listened to messages delivered by Robert F. Lane, President of the American Association of the Philippines, Harry K. Thomas, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, General Eduardo SL Oban, Philippines General, and 4 star General, Gary North, commander of the Pacific Forces of the United States. He came over from Hawaii, since he is stationed at Hickam Air Base. Also in attendance was Vice President of the Philippines, Jejomar Binay. We met all of the above people, and in addition, met the Ambassadors from Australia and Canada to the Philippines. We had a good visit with each of them. Each was very kind and very approachable. Their talks were all very inspiring and timely. We cried frequently throughout the time we were there. I often thought of my Dad and his war experiences. He would be happy we were here today. We truly love our country and are most grateful for those who preserve freedom. Our two favorite parts of this memorial serivce were, the playing of "taps", and a tribute to two recently fallen soldiers. We will share the details. Taps: Right after the last speaker, a soldier appeared to our left between two pillars with a bugle to his mouth and began playing "taps"....pure, perfectly pitched sounds.....then right across the way to our right, another soldier stepped out with a bugle and began playing an echo....so it really was a duet...it was absolutely so beautiful and touching. Then if that wasn't enough....we have our 2nd favorite: The children of the two fallen soldiers were invited to come and place roses next to the wreaths placed as tributes to their fathers, who had recently been killed. A little girl about 6 years old and a little boy about 4 walked up the steps and across the way carrying roses. They walked to their fathers wreaths and each knealt down and placed their roses. Then they stood up and turned back around toward the audience, took hold of each others hands, and walked forward to the edge where the steps go down, and there they stopped, put their hands on their hearts, and together said, "We will never forget". They stood there for a few moments, and then walked down the steps to their mothers. There was not a dry eye present! WE will never forget!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks you guys, wonderful and humbling all at the same time. SLY

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  2. Thank you for the freedom we enjoy today. We salute and honor all of you. We are grateful of what you have done for us. God bless America and Philippines. - Ken Alejo

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