Sent: Sat, 3 Sep 2005 11:26:26 -0700
Subject: Fw: America Owes them a Debt of Gratitude - Support Your WWII Veterans
This movie is a rude reminder to Uncle Sam - that out there 8,000 miles across the Pacific, - were loyal allies that blindly fought for the U.S flag and American imperial interests in the Philippines in World War II - whom up to now are dying each day of old age, disease and want - bare and naked of your rightful wartime benefits - still unpaid under racial and economic discrimination. Very anti-veteran and un-American !
This "Great Raid" where there were 503 POWs were saved. It is a sequel of the"Los Banos Raid: where 2,146 American and allied POWs were saved and jointly rescued by Fil-am (Hunters) Guerrillas and the US 11th Airborne Division contingent in February 23, 1945.
I speak for all of us who separately that participated in these gallant two rescues - and address this rude reminder to a recreant Congress that would rather wait for all of us remaining war veterans to all die - so they could save and keep our money we earned in battles of WW-II for their pork at the expense of our lives.
My comrades as US military retirees were also denied their hard-earned retirement pensions and disability benefits feel the same and are just as angry as unjustly dispossessed by a those who sent us to harm's way and then trashed like market refuse. This immoral cruelty is a costly luxury for ths nation founded under Trust in God.
How much more will it take for war veterans to suffer further this cold-blooded sadism? It was said that America is God's crucible. albeit has slowly transformed itself into two societies: the greedy and the needy. It has become a perilous and backsliding nation because its yearning capacity has has become greater than its earning capacity.
et ruant coeli." (Let justice be done though the Heavens fall~ #
From: Col,(Ret) Frank B. Quesada, World War II POW
From: North, Jim
Sent: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 11:27:00 -0400
Subject: America Owes them a Debt of Gratitude - Support Your WWI Veterans
A MUST SEE MOVIE!
Amidst the current 60-year struggle of Filipino World War II veterans for recognition of their wartime service by the U.S. government, comes a movie based on factual events, which further justifies their claim.
The epic film, "The Great Raid", based on the successful rescue of 511 American prisoners of war from the Japanese prison camp at Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija in early 1945, is a triumph not only in film making but also in portraying the indomitable spirit of those hapless prisoners of war, who never lost hope for redemption. At the same time, the film depicts with stark realism, the steadfast loyalty of the Filipinos to the cause of freedom, even at the cost of their lives. Something that is, unfortunately, lost on the U.S. lawmakers who continue to ignore the pleadings of the Filipino World War II for justice.
At seven years old, when World War II came to the Philippines, I witnessed first hand the atrocities committed by the Japanese, not only against the American POWs and the Filipino guerrillas, but also the unspeakable cruelty visited upon the civilian populace, during their three year occupation of the Philippines-- atrocities that are best forgotten lest they rekindle old flames of hatred of an inhumane former enemy. Everything that is shown in the movie is true, graphic as they are---from Filipinos who risked their lives to keep the American POWs alive by smuggling food and medicines into the camp, to those opportunists and traitors who helped the Japanese occupiers, down to the wanton execution of POWs and civilians alike for helping the American POWs..
I marveled at how authentic the props were, depicting old Manila, complete with the good old "Tranvia" or electric cable cars which were the mainstay of the then very efficient public transport system in the city that many travelers called the "Pearl of the Orient". Looking at them brought a rush of nostalgic memories which transformed me back in time. For a fleeting moment, the 60-year gap seems just like yesterday.
This film is a must-see for all Filipinos, especially Filipino-Americans natural born or immigrant. It is a stark reminder of what we owe the brave men and women who laid down their lives on the line that we may live in freedom and enjoy the lifestyle of people who are free to choose their own destiny, choose their leaders, and worship their Creator in peace and freedom.
How I wish that the members of today's U.S. Congress would take time out to see this movie, that they may realize how deserving the Filipino World War II veterans are of the benefits which to this day are still denied them-benefits that were granted to them in 1944, but mercilessly taken back in 1946, when America had no more use for them.
The raid in Cabanatuan, brilliantly planned and executed by the U.S. Army Rangers, would not have been as successful without the indispensable participation of the Filipino guerrillas who were used as a blocking force. The Filipino resistance fighters, many of whom are now the forgotten heroes of that raid, effectively prevented a stronger Japanese force to come to the rescue of the embattled prison camp guards, ensuring in the process the smooth execution of the rescue of more than 500 American prisoners of war, remnants of the USAFFE who defended the last American bastion that was Bataan. None of the sick and starving prisoners were killed during the rescue operations, a feat of military genius that the legendary General Douglas MacArthur proclaimed as the "most brilliant rescue operation of World War II.
That Uncle Sam could conveniently set aside the sacrifices made by the Filipino World War II veterans, after the end of hostilities, smack of ingratitude to a people who remained loyal and steadfast in the face of atrocities and deprivation. Majority of the Filipinos, like the American prisoners of war, never for a moment doubted the promise of MacArthur that he would return.
Today, our champions in the U.S. Congress, led by Congressmen Bob Filner and Randy Cunningham in the Lower House, and Senator Daniel Inouye in the Senate, lawmakers who are privy to the selfless acts of bravery and heroism of the Filipino World War II veterans, and who sincerely believe that America owes them a debt of gratitude, continue to indefatigably fight for the rights of our beloved veterans. Pending before the House of Representatives and the Senate are two Bills, HR302 and S146, crafted by the authors as a measure to redeem the stolen dignity and honor of the Filipino World War II veterans, and restore to them the benefits that are rightfully theirs.
Together with the other advocates who are genuinely concerned about the welfare of these long suffering forgotten heroes, this writer hopes and prays, that this time around, the U.S. Congress would bring closure to the Filipino veterans' 60-year struggle by enacting these re-introduced Bills into law.
Col Romy Monteyro
MSgt James T. North
U.S. Marines, Retained
Fleet Marine Corps Reserve
Category II, Deployable