Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cabanatuan POW Camp

On Saturday May 21st, we decided to attend a baptism in Cabanatuan (Ca-ba-na-tu-an) - about a 2 hour drive. It is north of where we live and it was fun to drive through the farm land - mostly rice fields. We got to the church about 11:30 - plenty of time for the baptism at noon. No one was there and the font was not being filled. Elder Jewkes called the Zone Leaders to find out if we were at the wrong church . . . Seems that the date of the baptism was the 22nd not the 21st!! I had read the text wrong, so it was totally my fault! You see, part of my job it to find out when and where the baptisms are each week. I send a text on Thursday to the Zone Leaders and they send a text back with the information needed. Most all of the baptisms are on Saturday . . . easy mistake, right?? Well, we enjoyed the ride and since we we in Cabanatuan, we decided to go to the POW Camp Memorial. This is where the Japanese kept the prisoners interned during WWII. That was after the prisoners marched 105 kilometers from Bataan to San Fernando and then were herded onto trains to get from San Fernando to Cabanatuan. The prisoners were treated in humanly and thousands died from disease, starvation and heat exhaustion. We were disappointed that there was not more information or someone to tell us more about the sites. There was not another person at the memorial that day. They do consider it sacred ground because there were so many Americans and Filipinos who died there. Here are some of the pictures from that day.

The Gate leading into the memorial site

This wall reminded us both of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC

I am standing at the memorial looking towards the road that we drove down.
It is just grass with some tire tracks.

1 comment:

  1. Col. Juan T. Moran died there, only months before the rescue of the remaining prisoners. He was my great-uncles last commander. I hope his name is there on the wall, his family was wiped out in the war, and he was a 26th Cavalry officer of high caliber. My great uncle Alexander G. Olsen, Lt. Col, US Cavalry, did not make it that far. He vanished in the Bataan surrender, never to be found.
    A comment I have Connie, on your nice blog entry - the Bataan Death March did not end at Cabanatuan, but at Camp O'Donnell, in the mountains by Mt. Pinatubo. It was only after 15,000 prisoners had died in the INhumane conditions there that they were moved to Cabanatuan.

    Thank you for showing the pics, there are so few of this site on the net.