Monday, February 25, 2013

Walking the Walk

So what got me to a 20-mile walk through snow and sand on the Chicago lakefront? Clearly it wasn't the weather (see "snow" above). It wasn't the company; I was walking alone. Not too many folks were duplicating my 17 degree journey.

Just why the hell was I freezing my ass off and rubbing blisters?

This is where the phrase, "It's a long story" always comes up. And in my case it's true. This story started 71 years ago on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines. Thousands of prisoners, many of the U.S. soldiers, of the Japanese were about to embark on one of the most heinous events in WWII - The Bataan Death March. And this has to do with me in 2013 on a frigid Chicago day?

My grandfather was one of the U.S. soldiers; he had no idea he was about to be forced to walk almost 80 miles.

The War Goes On

The title of this post is more metaphorical than real to my life. Although there do seem to be conflicts on a daily basis that permeate our country. Most don't involve guns or drones, but words, which unfortunately can be more harmful.

I've recently engaged in an activity that indirectly parallels my project with my grandfather's tenure in the Philippines. During my research I stumbled on a site where the editor asked for volunteers to transcribe affidavits presented against Japanese war crimes. I contacted the editor, not even knowing if it was still an active site; it is. He has sent me three different sets of legal proceedings to transcribe from aging copies to computer.

What I am finding are missing pieces to my grandfather's war experience. I have an affidavit from him describing went happened during his internment; however, this new information is specific to incidents and therefore some how more immediate.