Valor: A tour of the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial

3:27 PM

In celebration of Araw ng Kagitingan, the Ortigas Foundation gave a tour of the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial in BGC. Designed by American Architect Gardner A. Dailey, the cemetery and memorial spans 152 acres and features a chapel, two hemicycles, display tablets, and a courtyard.

The bright sunny weather highly contrast the grim stories we were told. One of the most heartbreaking ones is the story of the Sullivan Brothers who were honored and remembered on one of the tablets of the missing. All five Sullivan Brothers perished in action on the light cruiser USS Juneau that was sunk in June 1942. This tragedy led to the Sole Survivor Policy in the American Military.

I have always thought the memorial was off-limits to Non-Americans but how wrong was I. The cemetery and memorial is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to visit and pay respect to the fallen heroes of World War II.

OPEN HOURS: 9 am to 5pm; daily except December 25 and January 1

*The Manila American Cemetery & Memorial is included in the list of MovingMemorials around the world by Architectural Digest. 

**Payment for the tour was a donation of books to the Ortigas Foundation.

President Barack Obama visited Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines on April 29, 2014.
photo from the Americans Battle Monuments Commission website

tablets of the missing features 36,285 names.

a star mark soldiers given a medal of honor while rosettes confirm who have been recovered and identified.  

this tour has drawn quite a crowd that i needed to be divided into smaller groups. 

In the center of the cemetry is this intricately carved limestone-clad chapel. 

one of the twenty-five mosaic maps depicting american military moves in asia and the pacific.

a fraction of the eleven plots surrounding the memorial.
not every hero was a christian. here lies a jew who died in world war ii. 

a nameless headstone for an unknown hero.

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