Philippine Requiem

The hands of time have passed the years
   As you lay neath the earth so green
  Far from home and family
    In the land of the Philippine
    Your sons and daughters yearn for you
And study days of yore
  When death stalked you every day
   In a country wracked by war

It saddens us your next of kin
The details of your fight
Bataan and Corregidor
We are witness to your might
If courage alone could win a war
And blood could douse the flames
Then enemies would tremble
At the sounding of your names

But fortunes necessarily
Put Armies to the test
And soldiers cannot carry on
Without bullets, guns or rest
Valiant and so proud you were
Until your lines retreated
Then Generals who had no choice
Declared you were defeated

Hell began to take its shape
Along the jungle trail
Men began the march of death
Which history knows no scale
Our soldiers weakened by disease
By thirst and injury
Began to see the nature of
The conquering enemy.

The worst was as yet to come
Camp ’Donnell was the first
With death disguised as walking ghosts
Tormenting men with thirst
With flies as thick as locusts
And food in short supply
The weakest simply closed their eyes
And willed themselves to die.

Men can only take so much
When cruelty is their master
Death can seem the better choice
Amid such mass disaster
Though many soon became inured
To torture and privation
They could not clearly see the road
Leading to their salvation

Prisoners must surely cope
And learn to deal with fate
Some can only live on hope
And some can only hate
Yet all came to see the path
Of caring for fellow lives
So that the final victory
Was merely to survive

Today your sons and daughters
Your nieces and nephews too
Have banded one together
In remembrance of you
All live in awe and wonder of
Your sacrifices and we see
If not for the best in you
There would n’t be a we

Robert Logan Hudson   ©2007
            Son of Richard Charles Hudson 1912-1988
            Philippine Dept. Attached to the 31st Infantry
            Company A – Quartermaster Corps / Manila
O’Donnell/Cabanatuan/Bilibid/ Nissyo Maru/Keisen #23
Proud Polar Bear / Omnia Pro Patria

  In battle there is courage
            In courage there is sacrifice
            In sacrifice there is death
            In death there is peace



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