(By: DinggolAranetaDivinagracia - March 28, 2018)
"A tribute to the great Liberator of the Pacific Islands during World War II, in commemoration of his 54th Death Anniversary on April 5, 2018" --dinggol.d~~~
Douglas MacArthur was an American five-star general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army who played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He was born on January 26, 1880 in Little Rock, AR and died on April 5, 1964 in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD at age 84.
During World War-II, when the United States of America Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) were suffering heavy losses against the aggressive hordes from the land of the rising sun, Gen. Douglas MacArthur (West Point Class 1903), Allied Forces Supreme Commander in the Pacific left hastily on a submarine bound for Australia with brief stop-over within Iloilo waters. He circulated a message of hope to his demoralized troops left behind with the now immortalized phrase --"I Shall Return".
He was endeared to his soldiers and to many Filipinos as the 'Great Liberator" when he fulfilled his promise and dramatically waded ashore at Palo, Leyte with fresh troops on 20th October, 1944 to triumphantly continue the Japanese-American war in the Philippines. Likewise, when he later made a sentimental journey back to the Philippines in 1961 after his retirement.
However, skeptics believe otherwise; that Filipino guerillas had already over-turned the tide of war against the Japanese in the Philippines. More notably, by the "Hukbalahaps" or Hukbong ng Bayan laban sa Hapon in Central Luzon and by the Ilonggo guerillas in Panay and Negros islands. And that Gen. MacArthur just delivered the "Coup de Grace".
Uncle Sam's "Operation Betsy" finally ended the war in the Pacific with their newly discovered nuclear weapon, the horrendous atomic bomb dropped in early August, 1945 over the Cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the heart of Japan where hundreds of thousands were either injured or went to kingdom come. This ultimate decision, however, effectively ended the war and saved the lives and sufferings of millions of soldiers on both sides, but most of all unarmed civilians.
Be that as it may, I still recall stories as a young boy -- about this great American "5-Star" General of the Army. When asked by media of his opinion about Gen. Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower of the battle of Normandy fame, running as President of the United States; he replied succinctly, "He was my best Clerk, Ike would make a good President".
But I shall never forget his statement way back when, admiring the courage and bravery of Filipino fighters of the American war, he said; "Give me ten thousand Filipino fighters, and I shall conquer the world".
MacArthur is credited with the military dictum, "In war, there is no substitute for victory" but he also warned, "The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."
A big salute! to Gen. Douglas H. MacArthur, the old soldier who never died, he just faded away....
The only resistance movement in the Philippines during World War II that never fell to the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army was the Free Government of Panay and Romblon under Gov. Tomas Confesor of Cabatuan, Iloilo.
Tomas Confesor was the only person to have occupied four (4) gubernatorial seats at the same time. He was governor of Iloilo, Capiz (which still includes Aklan), Antique and Romblon during World War II. --dinggol.d~~~