63rd Anniversary of the Battle for Manila February 3, 1945-March 3, 1945
WORLD War II broke out in the Pacific on December 7, 1941. A few days later, Japanese planes attacked the Philippines and the other Allied countries in the Pacific. On January 2, 1942, the Japanese occupied Manila and began three years of harsh existence for the Filipino people.
The Battle of the Coral Sea in May 4-8, 1942, began the Allied reconquest of the Philippines. Landing in Leyte in October 20, 1944, followed. On February 3, 1945, the Battle for Manila began. When the battle ended on March 3, 1945, Manila, the “Gem of the Pearl of the Orient,’’ was destroyed; ten percent of its one million population were dead.
Personal accounts by those who survived the carnage describe the pathos and pain that accompanied the death and destruction of the city. “We live from moment to moment,’’ wrote one survivor. “There is nothing to hope for, nothing to comfort us. Many of the dead remain unburied.’’
The Filipino people lost countless cultural and historical treasures. All government buildings, educational institutions, convents and churches, as well as their priceless treasures were destroyed. The destruction of Manila was one of the greatest tragedies of World War II. Manila was the “Warsaw, Stalingrad, and Nanking of World War II in the Pacific.’’
The Memorare Manila Monument at Plaza Santa Isabel (also known as Plaza Sinampalukan) at General Luna and Anda Streets in Intramuros, Manila, was erected on February 18, 1995, as a memorial to all those who perished in the Battle for Manila.