Manila American Cemetery
One of the best things about this cemetery. Which is just a stone’s throw from upscale Makati. Is that the Manila street noise is absent. The American memorial park is an oasis of peace. Visitors will get a much-needed noise break. Plus a generous slice of American history while wandering the grounds. Manila American Cemetery is in the Global City Taguig, Metro Manila. Within the boundaries of the former Fort William McKinley. It can get reached from the city by taxi or automobile. Via Epifano de Los Santos Ave. (EDSA) To McKinley Road, then to McKinley Parkway. Inside the Global City. The Nichols Field Road is the easiest access from Manila International Airport. To the cemetery.
The cemetery. 152 acres in area, is on a prominent plateau. It’s visible at a distance from the east, south, and west. It has the largest number of graves. A total of 17,210 graves of any cemetery for U.S. personnel killed during World War II. It also holds dead during the Philippines war and other allied nations. Many of the personnel whose remains are in a tomb or represented. They got killed in New Guinea or during the Battle of the Philippines between 1941-1942. The headstones made of marble. Which is set up in eleven plots forming a generally circular pattern.
The chapel, a white masonry building enriched with sculpture and mosaic, stands near the center of the cemetery. In front of it on a wide terrace are two large hemicycles. Twenty-five mosaic maps recall the achievements of the American armed forces. In the Pacific, China, India, and Burma. On rectangular Trani limestone piers within the hemicycles. Are on the Tablets of the Missing containing 36,285 names. The graves of 570 Filipino scouts who offered their supreme sacrifice are here, too.
Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. Carved in the floors are the seals of the American states and its territories. From the memorial and other points within the cemetery. There are impressive views over the lowlands. To Laguna de Bay and towards the distant mountains.
Manila American Cemetery. The scale of the Manila American Cemetery. Not to mention, the number of dead and MIA servicemen it honors – shows the massive scale of the Pacific theater. In World War II and the massive price, it cost in lives. The American Battle Monuments Commission maintains the American Cemetery. In remembrance of the American servicemen. Who gave their lives for freedom’s cause in the Pacific.
The land got given to The Philippines Government. Free of charge and in perpetuity and is the largest overseas site. To get taken in by the American Battle Monuments Commission.
A leaflet about the Manila American Cemetery is available on arrival or online here.
The war cemetery, like cemeteries everywhere, is a grim place. Yet, the cemetery’s designers did their best to render this place more pleasant. With its beautiful buildings. Nice arranged gravestones, manicured lawns, chapel, map rooms, and country club-like surroundings. Still, it is a necropolis, an abode of the dead, a reminder of our own fragile mortality.
Visiting hours are daily from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. Except during Christmas and New Year’s Days. During open hours. Staff members are on hand at the Visitors Building to answer questions. Also to escort relatives to the graves of their loved ones.