Belmont Club’s untitled post
is this morning’s must-read
In February 1945, a woman now dying of lung cancer grabbed two of her children and jumped out the window to escape Imperial Japanese Marines crashing through the door intent on bayoneting everyone in the burning house. Finding no one, they went on to the next house to continue their massacre on a street not far from the Rizal Memorial ballpark, where Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth both played in sunnier days before the forgotten Battle of Manila. The 100,000 civilians who died in the largest urban battle of the Pacific War — more than at Hiroshima — are not remembered in beautiful candles floating down darkened rivers or in flights of doves soaring into the blue sky; there is no anti-American significance to their deaths. But they still live in the fading memory of that woman, who hid for two days in the smoldering ruins of the neighborhood until the first American patrols came into view.
I saw my aunt last as she stood in a window of a Sydney hotel and waved goodbye. I hope to see her again.
Manila, Nanking, the Viet-Nam famine, Indonesia, Burma, Borneo, Saipan, Corregidor, Bataan Death March, Okinawa, northern China, Burma, River Kwae Thailand. Who weeps for them?