Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines

Images by Robert Gardner

Escaping the tumult of Manila's urban machinery can be a challenge as the cacophony seeps into every nook and cranny. Not far from the din's epicenter, near the Makati Commercial Center, is a rare oasis of peaceful bliss.

The American Cemetery is apparently the largest such facility outside the U.S. and memorializes the many thousands (including Filipinos) who died fighting during World War II. From Makati, I walked to the cemetery crossing EDSA at Ayala Avenue to McKinley following the road through Forbes Park past the Manila Polo and Golf Clubs. The cemetery consists of acres of white marble crosses and Stars of David aligned in neat contoured rows silently marching up the hillside to the memorial. The circular memorial contains the names of those missing in action engraved in marble columns, huge wall mosaics depicting battles of WWII, a small chapel, and has a commanding view of the surrounding landscape.

The late afternoon that I visited, there were few other visitors and even the caretakers seemed to blend into the scenery. The American Cemetery is a quiet corner in the Manila metro-area for anyone trying to escape the hubbub or who would like to take in that chapter of history.

The Memorial Revisited - December 1996

Sheet 1 of 1 (Click on any image for slide show)

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