Someday I hope to go to the Philippines and see where these men
so bravely fought, died, and sacrificed for my freedom,
for your freedom.
The "Rest of the Story"
It really is pretty amazing, isn't it? How one small act leads to another,
and another, etc.
That is much of how this project came about. I also believe it is one of God's purpose’s for my
I am often asked for more of the story of how I became
involved in this project.
Here it is.
began in 2001 when my friend, our Chief of Police, asked if I would help him put together a
mentoring program between law enforcement and students. Part of the program had the officers
involved in the school, where I worked, helping with the curriculum, getting to know the
students personally, in order to mentor them.
One officer shared with me
his father's story;
the Death March, disease, starvation and internment in a Japanese Prison Camp.
Later, as my students studied WWII, I shared this neglected area of history with them.
I can still picture them today; sitting, stunned and many with tears in their eyes as the
reality of what these men endured for the freedom of which they (the students) were now
After presenting, I admit I was surprised at the overwhelming response of
the students. They wanted to know more and wanted to write to
the veterans. I was able to get addresses of men who had been in
the same camp as Wayne Petrie. He is our "featured POW, our own," here in
(Petrie would become the Postmaster, very loved by many. See his story under the Biographies
We had not expected responses, we wrote only to
honor them with a thank you letter. Yet, we received so many letters in return that I felt
these "submissions," along with the books, photos, and letters they
also sent, needed to be preserved. And thus I began this website. Then, I was asked
to volunteer with a group dedicated to preserving oral and written accounts of
I now hear from people all over the world, send out
mailings, help with research, and answer the questions of many who never knew
what their loved one endured. It has been one of the
biggest blessings in my life. I have no immediate family, other than my
children, and yet now I feel like I have a HUGE extended family.
I sum up the value of my project with this one
comment from a former Camp 17 POW.
After having received a letter from the
students, he wrote, in part...
"Until I received your letter, I had
given up hope that anyone cared."
To the best of my ability I will not let another ever believe "no one
2005 Linda Dahl