photos from Wikipedia
World War Z? How about World War 2?
Remember the faces of your grandfathers and grandmothers, for today we celebrate the Day of Valor, or "Araw ng Kagitingan" as we say it in Tagalog. We shall never forget the sacrifice of those who fought in Bataan and Corregidor.
My grandfater, my mom's dad, was at the Battle of Bataan. Their orders were to resist the Japanese invaders "to the limits of human endurance". Completely surrounded and outnumbered, he and his comrades were bombarded by tanks, artillery, and Japanese fighter craft for three whole months. They were starving, disease stricken, and were practically holding the mountain fortification with no hope for reinforcement.
Reminder: The Japanese are our friends today. Remembering what happened in the past is part of any real friendship between cultures. Dig?
Unable to bear further losses, Major General Edward P. King, Jr. surrendered more than 76,000 soldiers. Of these were 68,000 Filipino troops, and 11,796 Americans.
The survivors were then forced to march 80 miles from Bataan to Camp O'Donnel. Hundreds never made it as the weak and injured were shot by the invader's soldiers.
Their sacrifice was not in vain. This stand against the invaders bought precious time for Allied forces to gather their strength in the Pacific. This directly contributed to the success of the battle of Midway which was a turning point in the war.
Granddad made it, and he went on to have 8 kids. I've got a bunch of cousins as a result.
Fast forward to today, Japan is now one of our closest allies. We've patched things up quite well, I could even say that our people get along the best compared to our other Asian neighbors. Better times have indeed come along.
Still, the Day of Valor is an important day to remember how ordinary men and women fought against impossible odds. I can't imagine what it would have been like to be there when Bataan fell.
When the horde of undead rise up to threaten us with extinction, I wonder if we will fight as hard as our elders. They faced death fully believing that they may not survive and that each day would be their last.
We're so soft and spoiled compared to them! We complain on Facebook about every little thing. We've got our First World Problems, and daily rants. We're really our own worst enemy WTSHTF.
As I write this, cozy in my office chair, in an air-conditioned glass tower, I wonder if I can do what my grandparents did. They survived. I should do my best to do the same.
This one's for you granddad Andres and grandma Anastasia. Thank you for everything.