Manila American Cemetery and Memorial Revisited

Images by Robert Gardner

During late November and early December 1996, I was in the Philippines for a visit, spending most of the time in the Visayas and Mindanao including climbing Mt. Apo. On my way home, I stayed in Manila and one afternoon I visited the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. It had been more that twelve years since I last visited and took the photos on the previous page and I was curious how the place looked and how much my memory had faded. I was also given a request to locate and photograph a tombstone of someone's relative who was buried there.

I retraced my earlier steps, taking a jeepney this time instead of walking, from EDSA highway to the gate of Fort Bonifacio. As I entered the front gate it was a new experience. I could recall very little of the previous visit. Like this afternoon, the previous visit was late in the day, leaving only a little time to snap some photos before the sun set.

There is no entrance fee but the security guard checked me out pretty closely and asked for ID. From the front gate the drive circles a fountain then splits into two lanes that surround a grassy mall leading up to the memorial. Just to the right of the gate, as you enter, is the office and information center. I went in to try to locate one of the 17,206 who are buried here. I gave the name to the lady behind the "Information" counter and in a matter of minutes, she provided a map with the exact location of the tombstone. With less than an hour before closing, I hurried up the mall taking a few pictures along the way and within the memorial and finally the tombstone located on the opposite side. Having accomplished my main task, I took a leisurely walk back to the gate passing under those beautiful acacia trees.

Here are some of the photos. Color this time:

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