“There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.” ~ Albert Camus
Trying to gather some war stories from the family to document is just like pulling teeth. Inextricable
My first older four siblings, their dad was a World War II soldier. Their dad was my Mother’s first husband. It’s just one of those things that we forget to share family stories especially our parents are no longer on earth.
Today, being Remembrance Day, I want to remember their dad. So I sent out e-mails to them asking to tell me a story about their dad with emphasis on being a soldier.
I learned that he was a Major in the military of United States Armed Forces of the Philippines. His full name is Maximo Abendan Papas descendant of Greek origin. He was a prisoner of war and helped wounded co-soldiers in the concentration camp. Their dad survived and escaped from the famous “Death March”.
Death March happened when the Japanese invaded the Philippines. The Japanese have taken Americans and Filipinos as prisoners in 1942 and made them march 128 km to reach the camp . There were many casualties that even the historians cannot take the full account of the prisoners. War is war: prisoners were treated brutally, full of physical and mental abuse.
Even their dad escaped, he did not escape the disease he contracted during the war and eventually died of lung cancer. He was 36 years old.
My eldest sibling was only four years old when his dad died. At that age, I suppose one has little memory of their biological father. One thing that stood out in their story how they spoke highly of Mother’s second husband, my father. Father was good to them and that he is the Father they know and love.
The rest is history according to my sisters.
- Bataan death march survivor Anthony Costa has new appreciation for Veterans Day (mercurynews.com)
- Play honors Bataan veterans (sfgate.com)
- Bataan Death March