Father and Son

Art Morgan

Here lies ashes of Art Morgan buried at the foot of Sakura Tree at Forest Law Cemetery close to Mother’s gravesite.

 
Father and Son
wearing the same outfit
black turtle neck, black jacket, black coat. 
Can I tell the difference?
young and older,
spitting image. 
It was Remembrance Day. 
Father was in town for the legion
to commemorate Remembrance Day. 
Where have you been hiding this young lady?
asked Father to Son. 
Where have you been hiding your father?
a thought I kept to myself for the Son. 
He was an army pilot during World War II. 
Father survived the war,
got married, raised a
family of four. 
I was happy to meet Father but
death came to soon. 
He died
in his own
hands. 
Why? 
Have you seen a
grown man cry?
Son was inconsolable. 
In Father’s bedroom
there I sat on his bed and lit
a candle to say a little prayer
and left the candle burning
by the bedside table. 
WHO LIT A CANDLE! 
Scream came out of Son’s mouth
hush, it was me, hush
Inconsolable.
wishing I could take away his
pain. 
Thanksgiving Day
time to scatter the ashes on top
of the mountain
overlooking the lake. 
One by one
the family took handful of ashes
blown to smithereens
carried by the wind. 
Mine placed in a small container
for Father’s ashes to bury him
at the cemetery. 
At the foot of the Sakura tree
is where I buried his ashes
near Mother’s resting place. 
Father’s bible was given to me
in memory of Son’s Father. 
There is no answer to Why. 
Remembrance Day
will always remind
me of Father and Son. 
 

Sometime the hating has to stop.

Gallery

For Valentine’s Day, I wanted to watch a movie that would make my heart all warm and fuzzy as I nurse the dreaded flu that I am afflicted with for the past three days. Our library has a wide range … Continue reading

“Filipinos die for love. Americans die for principle”

valerie

Click on the photo to take you to the original post.

This Memorial Day, I offer a tribute to the hundreds and thousands of Filipino Guerrillas who fought in World War II alongside the Americans. In a moving poem, General Romulo penned these words:

To the men who fought
In defense of the Philippines
In the 1941-1942 campaign
The ill-trained, ill-armed recruits
In straw helmets and rubbers shoes
The pilots without planes
The sailors without ships
The men on horseback
Fighting tanks with sabers
The gunners short of shells
The soldiers with obsolete rifles
Hungry in the foxholes of Bataan
And the batteries of Corregidor
Racked by dysentery, malaria, beriberi
Surviving on false hopes
Defeated at long last by their bodies
Sent to die in their faceless thousands
In the long cruel march to Capas
And in the concentration camps
This memorial is dedicated
By their grateful countrymen
Who will not forget
That their defeat was weakness of the flesh
But victory of faith loyalty and love.

~ Carlos P. Romulo

Half-American and half-Filipino, Panlilio wrote:  Filipinos will die for love, and Americans will die for principle.  I am half-and-half.  I die the same way.” 

excerpt from: Valerie Gonzalez  to read the original post visit : Dream to Learn

The rest is history

“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.

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis is Latin for “Always Faithful” or “Always Loyal.” This is the motto of the United States Marine Corps.  It is a useful slogan not just for the Corps but as well as to our country and to humanity.

I have taken the liberty of posting war stories.  A proper theme for the day. This is a Remembrance Day story that I am proud to share about my Uncle during his younger days and his brother Moises Gonzalez, who lost his life in 1944 who were faithful to humanity during the war.

The Gonzales brothers saved the life of James Carrington.  James was a World War II veteran reunited with Uncle who aided his escape from Japanese after 64 years and died shortly after the reunion.

reunion

Both men cried with joy when they met. Carrington was thankful that if it were not for the courage of the Gonzalez, he would not be here.

You may want to read the rest of the story by clicking on the picture or here.   A YouTube is also available here.

I am happy for them.  I wish I could make Uncle happier if I could help him find out what really happened to his brother.  I posted a story about it in Love and Valor.

Take time to remember.  Let us together as a nation to honour and remember  the Veterans, war dead and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf in times of war, armed conflict and peace. There are many ways to remember and actively participate to honour those who served our country. For one, do not hesitate to discuss this with your family and friends.  It’s important to remember so that we don’t repeat the past.

Santa Cruz nathaniel (3)

Nathaniel ~ US Marine

Let us honor the valiant who sacrificed their lives for your safety. Let us  salute our nation’s heroes. Let us remind our friends and dear ones about the patriots who lost everything in battle. Let our  silent prayers be a tribute to them.

Lester Pearson
Whether we live together in confidence and cohesion; with more faith and pride in ourselves and less self-doubt and hesitation; strong in the conviction that the destiny of Canada is to unite, not divide; sharing in cooperation, not in separation or in conflict; respecting our past and welcoming our future.

Lest we forget.

Related Links:
 
Photo Credits: Nola News and Nephew Nathaniel

Love and Valor

Moises Gonzalez - Missing Person POW

Moises Gonzalez – Missing Person POW

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