The Significance of Corregidor PDF Print E-mail

    Corregidor island (also known as “the Rock”), is strategically located at the entrance to Manila Bay. “This island fortress stands as a memorial to the courage, valor, and heroism of its Filipino and American defenders

    who bravely held their ground against the overwhelming number of invading Japanese forces during World War II. . . .When the Japanese invaded the Philippines in December 1941, the military force under the command of General Douglas MacArthur carried out a delaying action at Bataan. Corregidor became the headquarters of the Allied forces and also the seat of the Philippine Commonwealth government. It was from Corregidor, that Philippine President Manuel Quezon and General MacArthur left for Australia in February 1942, leaving behind Lt. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright in command.

    Although Bataan fell on April 9, 1942, the Philippine and American forces held out at Corregidor for 27 days against all odds. On May 6, 1942, their rations depleted, the Allied forces were forced to surrender Corregidor to Lt. Gen. Homma Masahuru of the Japanese Imperial Army, after having successfully halted the Japanese advance on Australia. . . . In March, 1945, the Allied forces under the command of General MacArthur recaptured Corregidor – making good his promise to return to the Philippines.

    The big guns of Corregidor are now silent and the ruins of buildings, structures and tunnels in the island tell a moving story of a war that has claimed so many lives. A visit to this former battleground is a memorable experience especially for those who cherish and value peace and freedom. In his speech delivered at the signing of the surrender of Japan aboard the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, general Douglas MacArthur said, “It is my earnest hope and indeed the hope of all mankind that a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past – a world founded by faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice” (Retrieved from http://corregidorisland.com/).

    It was an inspirational moment to stand at the marble monument to the Pacific War Dead, and read the inscription of assurance as we recognize it, written by an unknown poet:

Sleep my sons, your duty done.
For freedom’s light has come.
Sleep in the silent depths of the sea
Or in your bed of hallowed sod.
Until you hear at dawn,
The low, clear reveille of God.

    Each May 6, as a memorial of the final surrender of the Allied forces to the Japanese, the monument was designed so that the sun shines in such a position that its rays fall through a dome in the center of the monument, exactly at noon.

-- Adapted from AIIAS Highlights June 2008 Edition

 
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