American Cemetery in Manila - Philippines
The American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio remains a serene dignified resting place of those who have given their lives in World War II. This cemetery is Taguig City's tranquil refuge from the bustle of the world. Walking around the premises is like entering a totally different world. One can only stand in quiet reverence as you stand amongst fallen noble men of valor.
The American Cemetery is along McKinley Road within what is known today as the Bonifacio Global City, which is near Makati City. It would take an average of about 45 minutes for a taxi from the airport to get there. However, if you factor in the immense Manila traffic volume into it, you should expect your travel time to get a lot longer.
What to See
Remember to bring some sort of identification since you'll be asked to present one at the gate. You'll have to sign in on a log sheet at the guard's station and park your vehicle at the back. The American Cemetery is the largest cemetery of its kind being administered by the United States. It has more than 17,000 graves and has more than 36,000 names of people missing in action in World War II.
Rows of white marble crosses arranged in regimental file will simply leave any visitor awestruck. The marble for the crosses mostly come from Italy but some of them also come from the island of Romblon in the Philippines. Some of these grave markers were meant for more than one soldier. Thus we can say that there are more graves in the American Cemetery than all the headstones you can find.
As you walk through the gates you'll find the cemetery office to your left. Now, if you are looking for the grave of a particular individual then this is where you should start. The staff here would help you find a particular grave and give you its location. In addition, they will also give you a copy of the honor roll and other such documents you might need.
The hemicycles in the American Cemetery are where the names of thousands of men and women who went missing in the Second World War are inscribed. Tablet walls with names inscribed on them run on either side of the walkway. There's one hemicycle on the east and one on the west and both would start at the nearby chapel.
The chapel has mural of a woman holding bunch of white flowers with an altar set up near it. The inscription on the mural signifies the country's eternal gratitude for the sacrifices made by these fallen heroes.
There are 25 operations maps in four map rooms along the hemicycles that detail various events in the previous world war. The gardens around the American Cemetery provide the added solace as you view the peaceful surroundings.