WHO WE ARE, AND WHY WE DO THIS 
_________________
Paul F. Whitman

 

History did not begin the day you were born. What happened before you were born directly influenced your birth, and will influence your life. History is prologue. If you don't want to understand the world around you, ignore history, and you'll never know what is going on. You will live in ignorance, sheep like, until someone more powerful will come along and take what is yours. Your liberty, your freedom. 

WWII was the largest war ever. It extended around the globe.  More people died in it because human history had come to a crossroad. Would history go on the road where the individual was more important than the machine of government, or would it take the road where the machine of government was more important than the individual? There were two  conflicting theories. Does the government get its power from the people, or does the government use its control over people for the greatness of the government. It became clear that this question had not been settled in the first war.

Adolf Hitler decided to take Poland for the greater glory of his German Government.  England and France objected. Germany took France, and the only people who fought back were England and its former colonies Australia and Canada. But they were not strong enough to win. Germany decided that it wanted Russia too, so it invaded Russia as well. America didn't care, it wanted to stay neutral. President Roosevelt decided that unless Hitler could be stopped, he would win. So he did whatever he could, short of war, to  hinder Germany, and its ally, Japan. Japan had been taking bits of China for several years, and Roosevelt agreed with Churchill that the two of their countries should have a showdown. They called out the bully. That was the politics of it.

One thing many people overlook the greatest part of the fighting of the war was in Russia, between the Russians and the Germans. They weren't fighting for democracy. They were fighting for something even more important.  The Russians fought because the Germans denied them any human rights at all.  

Politicians make wars but they don't fight them. They send their nations, their sons and daughters,  out to fight and die. Should we remember the politicians? No. 

We should remember the people who went and fought. Many of them died, and many came so close to death that their lives would never be the same again. 

Look what they did when they put their minds to it! 

We don't own history, we only hold it in trust for our children. People who experience, achieve and survive something extraordinary, when others have not, voluntarily shoulder certain obligations upon themselves, not just for society, but also for those of their contemporaries who did not survive.  

This is Spielberg's premise, isn't it, of Saving Private Ryan? 

One of the more poignant obligations of surviving is to relate the experience, on behalf of those who cannot. The knowledge of surviving veterans, whose time is shortly upon them, is a living treasure. Their memories, but our treasure. One of the obligations of the generation that follows them is to record their human experiences, their humanity, and not just their history. Fragments of their humanity are our treasures in trust, valuable only when we can renew their experience by passing them on.  So called historians can come along a hundred years later, and tell us what their history was. Yet only those of us who can sit with the veterans in their parlor, and who listen closely, can record their humanity.

There's a climactic soliloquy in the science fiction cult-movie Blade Runner which goes towards explaining the primary reason I'm trying to gather, and at the same time, educate what to many may seem an esoteric "knowledgeof the war.  The astonished Blade Runner is watching helplessly as a tired looking replicant Batty slumps down in a lotus position before him.  Still cradling a dove, Batty smiles, almost bashfully, before saying: 

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate.  All those...moments will be lost...in time...Like...tears...in rain.   Time...to die." 

I don't like things getting lost in time.  If we don't recall their history, how can we understand when it is necessary to stop certain sorts of conduct by governments? By bureaucrats even?

When I started to write the Corregidor Then and Now website, it was my own website, my own voice.  However, as it grew, it began to speak with many other voices, notably those of the Private Ryans.  For that reason, the Corregidor Historic Society, was formed so that it could gather together, in an internet-community,  all those who agreed that their knowledge should be passed on to subsequent generations. 

Parallel with the Corregidor Historic Society is the 503d P.R.C.T. Heritage Battalion, which started with the intention to survive the loss of the last 503d Paratrooper standing. Its purpose is to support, preserve and propagate all aspects of the 503d P.R.C.T. In 2009, it was voted by the surviving membership of the 503d P.R.C.T. Association of WWII Inc. to be its official website. (More)

If you study our website, you will understand only one or two small battles but maybe a lot more about the sort of people the greatest generation were. They were citizens in uniform who went to war to fight for their country, but ended up fighting for their own lives, and the lives of their friends. The Society gives voice, through its website, to those who have lived to tell their story of those who cannot. We should listen, before their voices fade and disappear entirely, "lost in time, like tears in rain."

 

 

Paul F. Whitman

4The  predominant activity of the CHS is the publication of the Corregidor Then and Now, 503d PRCT Heritage Bn., and Rock Force.Org Websites. It also has annual intensives on Corregidor.

 

 

 

         

OUR WEBSITES

AUTHORS

FEATURES

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Corregidor Then and Now

Don Abbott

The Lost Road

Battlebook - Corregidor

Bulletin Board / Feedback Forum

503d PRCT Heritage Bn.

Gerry Riseley

Combat Over Corregidor

Japanese Unit & Troop Strength

503d WWII Honor Roll

Rock Force

William T. Calhoun

Amid th' Encircling Gloom

Ft. Benning Monographs

Taps

Coast Artillery Manila & Subic Bays

John Lindgren

The Rock Patch

503d PIR as a Case Study

Rock Force Honor Roll

4th Marines on Corregidor

George M. Jones

By Order of Maj. Kline

Engineers' Report - Corregidor

Site & Navigation Info

Bless 'Em All

James P. Lowe

 

 

 

503d PRCT Assn Official Website

Robert W. Armstrong

REFERENCES

FILM CLIPS

503D HERITAGE

Concrete Battleship

Verne White

1936 Corregidor Map

503d Jump at Nadzab

by Article Title

Battle of Manila

Jim Mullaney

2/503 Vietnam Newsletter

Cleaning Up Corregidor

by Author Name

Fall of the Philippines

(more)

1945 Jump Map

Interview - Clevenger

by List of Recent Articles 

 

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The 503d PRCT Heritage Battalion is the Official Website of the 503d Parachute RCT Association of WWII Inc. Join with us and share the 503d Heritage and values.

So that the last man standing shall not stand alone.

 

 

Copyright , 1999-2011 - All Rights Reserved to The Corregidor Historic Society, 503d PRCT Heritage Bn. & Rock Force.Org
Last Updated: 29-03-11