"And still we have faith-----faith in your might
In each bright weapon in the far flung fight
And in the blood of weary men
Who take the coral beaches back again"
--Henry Lee, American prisoner of war.
I just read Hampton Sides's book the Ghost Soldiers .
The book is about the raid by 121 US troops and their Filipino allies on the Japanese Cabanatuan POW camp in the Phillipines on January 28, 1945.
The 513 POWs had been held prisoner by the Japanese Imperial Army since the fall of Bataan in 1942. Many of them had survived the Bataan Death March, which they simply referred to as the hike.
The end of the war was near and the raid had been decided on after the news of the massacre of American POWs at Puerto Princesa Prison Camp, Palawan, Phillipines on December 14, 1944.
There was a very real fear that all the Americans would be slaughtered by their captors if not liberated.
The raid was a daring rescue mission which did succeed in liberating suffering men who had for too long been left to languish in the hands of the enemy.
The stories of Japanese cruelty are balanced by the accounts of the selfless and brave people of the Phillipines who risked their lives along with the American Rangers to save the lives of American strangers.
Then like now we had men and women in the service of our country in harm's way.
Let's not forget them.
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