Manila American Cemetery and Memorial Tour

Green, grey, and white.

Experiences tend to leave their mark in my memory as washes of color. A Thai market still shimmers in pink and green somewhere in the corner of my mind. And my recent trip to Cebu is clouded by a haze of blue.

You could say I spend too much time dabbling with Photoshop filters, but you can’t deny that color shapes our mood.

Green, grey, and white – with dashes of blue and gold.

That’s how I remember the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.

Manila American Cemetery & Memorial

A Note on History

On December 7, 1941, Japanese forces simultaneously attacked Pearl Harbor, Guam, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines. The United States declared war on Japan and just 48 hours later,  Japan controlled Luzon – the main island of the Philippines.  American troops fought for nearly four years to reclaim the Pacific until Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945.

Three years later, the United States was granted permission to build a memorial cemetery in the Philippines to house lives lost in this corner of the globe. The site was complete in 1960 and today remains the largest of all overseas American military cemeteries.

About the buried:

  • Headstones: 17,097
  • Unmarked Graves: 3,740
  • Medal of Honor Recipients: 29
  • Sets of Brothers: 20
  • Filipino Scouts: 570
  • Names Listed as Missing in Action: 36,286

The memorial is comprised of:

  • Wall of the Missing – two hemicycles that surround a flagged Memorial Court
  • A chapel, featuring a sculpture of St. George fighting a dragon
  • An altar, decorated with blue glass tiles depicting a madonna
  • 25 large-scale maps that portray important war campaigns

The  memorial site, its stories and artful details create a moving tribute to the fallen heroes of  WWII. Green, grey, and white – with dashes of blue and gold. Sturdy, solemn, sacred.

Start your photo tour with the thumbnail on the top left. For the history buffs, I leave you this link.


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