Monday, October 20, 2014

70th Anniversary of MacArthur's return to the Philippines

It seems like almost everyone was aware of or was reminded that June 6, 2014, was the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.  We wonder how many of you recall that today, October 20, 2014, is the 70th Anniversary of the return of General Douglas MacArthur and the American forces to the Philippines.

Today we were honored to escort a small group of Americans to Palo, Leyte, for the ceremony which remains dear to Filipinos but for the most part forgotten by Americans.  Our group included two men who were in on the initial landing, as well as the daughter of a man killed on Leyte.  We hope we are wrong, but expect that U.S. media will fail to mention this important event which helped end World War II.
In order to get this to you on the actual anniversary, we threw together a few photos from the events.  We hope to have a much more extensive report of our entire tour in a week or two.
Self-explanatory (and true)

Soldiers awaiting arrival of VIPs

Fay and Virgil (Bub) Simmons, Dwain Bell, and Steve.
Bub and Dwain landed on Leyte on the 20th.  Bub was in demolition and was wounded here.
Dwain was in the engineering corps and helped build a bridge and lay ten miles of road from Dulag northward.

His Excellency, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, addressing the crowd

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg, greeting our veterans

 Sally Moege, whose father died ten days after the initial landing, talking to a television reporter; this was her first trip to the Philippines

Ceremonial wreaths

Dwain Bell talking with a man whose father was also in the engineering corps on Leyte

Bub, who is short to begin with, looks even shorter next to the statue of General MacArthur

Filipino Boy Scouts coming ashore with the general and his entourage

Our group being treated to a scrumptious lunch at the Palo Municipal Hall

Our VIPs with Filipino veterans of WWII

Palo Mayor Remidios Petilla and American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines Executive Director Ebb Hinchcliffe talking with Fay and Bub
More to come later.
Steve and Marcia on the Rock

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