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Allied POWs Under the Japanese
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Fukuoka POW Camps

Preservation of a People

Nov. 11 - Veterans Day - A Time to Remember

All EX-POWs have one common goal to pass along to future generations, REMEMBER THEM. Remember the men who died in battle, remember the men who marched days upon days with no food or water, remember the men who were beaten when they worked and killed when they did not. Remember the men who had to wait to die in the Zero Ward, remember the men who lost their lives at sea after their hellship was sunk, and remember the men who survived their 3-year ordeal.

All prisoners of the Japanese will tell you, We can forgive, but we can't forget.

Source: http://www.chinamarines.com/docs/lib.htm

Read this moving article in entirety at the above source. Entitled Liberation, this article will help give you a better idea, indeed, a better feeling of what it was like to be a POW who has suffered, endured, survived, and had his first taste of freedom after years of internment. Certainly we have not even begun to appreciate the sacrifices these veterans, veterans of a different kind of war, had to make.

They fought, not on the front lines, but behind enemy lines... not with weapons, but with a strong will to survive... not against an enemy at a distance, but with one face to face, daily under attack... without any way of defending themselves... without any option of retreat... without proper food, rest or medication.

And they are still fighting today, against both physical and mental scars, the haunting memories that will never go away until death takes it from them.

We owe a lot to these veterans of a different kind of war who gave a lot for their country, for their families, for us. Let us then, who enjoy the benefits of their sacrifices, do our best to honor all veterans and do what we can to show our appreciation for what they have done.

Let us make this Veterans Day 2002 a day of special remembrance and appreciation.

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 12, 2004

National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, 2004

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Americans look to our veterans as examples of honor and patriotism. These loyal citizens have risked capture, imprisonment, and their lives to protect our homeland and advance freedom abroad. As we observe National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, we honor brave Americans who have demonstrated extraordinary courage in the face of hardship and terror.

Today, nine out of ten former prisoners of war are veterans of World War II. These Americans helped to liberate millions and defeat tyranny around the world, and survived unspeakable horrors for the cause of freedom. From enduring hard labor in German and Japanese POW camps to the torturous Bataan Death March, these proud patriots showed strength of character and incredible resolve in captivity. Their devotion to duty and love of country stand as a measure of service few others will attain.

America will never forget these quiet heroes and all of our former prisoners of war who suffered adversity in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Kosovo, Iraq, and other conflicts. Our Nation is grateful to our former prisoners of war for their sacrifice to help protect the democratic ideals that make our country strong. Because of the dedication of these men and women in uniform, people in our own country and in lands far away can live in freedom. These citizens inspire us, and we will always remember their service for liberty's blessings.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 9, 2004, as National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day. I call upon all Americans to join me in remembering all former American prisoners of war who suffered the hardships of enemy captivity. I also call upon Federal, State, and local government officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-eighth.