A question: Would you die …
– For someone who needs your help?
– For your country?
– For your own belief and virtues?
Without a moment’s notice? Hesitation?
These are questions that came to mind when I was reading an article about “Brothers in Arms” written in a local newspaper Asian Pacific Post dated December 18, 2008. That was four years ago. I kept this newspaper because it’s a story of love and valor, of bittersweet reunion, of uncertain, of no closures.
Just before the death of a former U.S. Marine officer, he was reunited with a man who saved his life 65 years ago during the war in the Philippines. Japan invaded the Philippines during World War II in 1944.The reunion was bittersweet because the officer died 11 days after they met on December 7, 2008, just before Christmas. Love is based on an intrinsic human quality that one has to help out in times of need. Valor is the by-product of love; the love for humanity to help those who are in need. The man was only age 11, still a child, 65 years ago; when he met the officer, with his older brother, age 20. This is what happened, and I quote from the newspaper: “Please give me a ride!” the stranger blurted out to Jesus and his 20-year-old brother, Moises. “He looked at that time so tall,” Gonzalez recalled. “He was running fast, just running along the cart with us.” The brothers hid Carrington amid the hay. With a Japanese checkpoint just around the corner, the younger Gonzalez was terrified and burst into tears. At each of two checkpoints, a Japanese soldier jabbed the hay with a bayonet, checking for a stowaway. One of the jabs lanced Carrington’s leg, but he remained undiscovered. Gonzalez couldn’t stop sobbing. “The Japanese soldier was asking me why I was crying, and I cried all the louder,” he recalled. “It was scary. If we had been discovered . . .” Carrington spent three days with Gonzalez family. He would later help lead guerrilla fighters who created havoc for the Japanese military before American forces retook The Philippines. Gonzalez older brother Moises – betrayed by a spurned woman – was later arrested by Japanese soldiers for his role in the episode and is believed to have been executed. No trace of him was ever found…” Why am I writing this? The man Jesus Gonzalez happens to be my Uncle, I call him Tito Jess. Tito Jess is married to Tita Baby. Tita Baby is my Mother’s youngest baby sister. Tita Baby’s family has been very good to us. Without their loving concerns, we would still be in the Philippines. They helped my family to bring us here in Canada. The least thing I can do is to play detective and hope Moises be reunited with Tito Jess. For those who are reading this article, we need your help to find Moises Gonzalez. Valerie Gonzalez is also appealing to everyone and she wrote: I am in search of any info re Filipino P.O.W named MOISES (MIKE) GONZALEZ Jr., (my uncle) who was imprisoned at Fort Santiago, Airport Studio, and possibly Muntinlupa, in Manila, Philippines, during World War II – between May 1944 to February 1945 (Liberation). My Lola (grandmother), Lucia Trullench Gonzalez, desperately searched for him but never found out what became of him after he was arrested by the Japanese. Moises Gonzalez rescued and harbored an American Marine, James Carrington, who had just escaped from Bilibid Prison (Manila) in April 1944. Jim Carrington eventually joined the Ramsay Guerrillas (ECLGA) and was decorated with a Distinguished Service Cross after the war. However, my uncle, Moises Gonzalez disappeared after his arrest and presumably died either at Airport Studio, Fort Santiago or Muntinlupa. He was also possibly a guerrilla courier for the MARKING GUERRILLAS. I am wondering how I might be able to track down any information about POW’s in Japanese prisons during WWII. If anybody has any information at all or could point me in the right direction, I would be so grateful if you could please Facebook me. Please send this to any Filipino Veterans you may know! Thank you! Should you have any information, please do not hesitate to contact me or Valerie Gonzalez on her FaceBook. Forever Grateful, Seeker. Related Article: http://www.asianpacificpost.com/article/2139-brothers-arms.html – Brothers in arms