Thursday, November 5, 2015

Keeping memories of WW II alive at St. Paul University QC

As a child survivor of WWII, the author vividly recalls the darkest hour of history when “man’s inhumanity to man” eclipsed love, justice and hope, and warns the present, of the undeniable capability of history of repeating itself. The dangerously worsening war in Syria (virtually losing its own statehood and a generation of its finest citizens) has the vestiges of the worst conflicts that has plagued the human race on a global scale.   

Dr Abe V Rotor
 Living with Nature School on Blog 

Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Miss Grace Velasco
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday   

WWII Memorial, SPUQC 
 Burning of St Paul College in Quezon City, a hanging wall mural by the author and his children - Marlo, Anna and Leo, 2000

Xerxes’ aide a thousand times whispered,
      “Remember the Greeks!”
To keep memory of late father King Darius. 
      Nay, but revenge is all a coward seeks.

A thousand times, we too, cried,
     “Remember the Japanese!"
In hopelessness even as many had died,
       time restored the broken peace.

Our cry died on marble floors,
      died in echoes and in the shade
Of high rise buildings and halls
      the new generation made.

You stand there frigid and mute,
      cold as steel against the flame;
Three beams of a chapel before,
      now a tripod devoid of fame.

Shh… hear the cries in the dungeon,
      the comfort women, their muffled moan;
The ashes left by countless souls,
      ghastly ruins against the moon.

Remember the tortuous Death March,
      Corrigidor, Auschwitz, Flanders
The ghosts in concentration camps,
      the nameless heroes on the shore.

Short is modern man’s memory
     amidst malls, cars and easy life,
TV, computer, the university. 
     All but Good Life sans strife.

                                       Where does faith in Providence abide –
     lessons from childhood lie,
      Where once in the home and school? 
            Now along with evil they belie.

      A new breed has risen – puzzled,
            sitting on a fence among the throng,
      Waiting for manna of capitalism,
           and subsidy from the strong.

     The essentials of history –
           refresh memory before it’s gone.
     Look up hard at the memorial
           to trace the roots of our freedom.

     But it is easier to doze and sleep
           and think not of the past.
     But war has a story preserved,
        “Never, never the die is cast.”*

    To tell as to why we are here,
         Darwin knew not such a test:
    Why fallen victims too, survive,
         and once more live with the fittest.

    Remember the Greeks.” We rather say,
         “Remember WW II!”
   Two things different in their own way,
        but look at the cold steel never at ease.~

Ruins of SPUQ, then a novitiate

 *Alea iacta est ("The die is cast") is a Latin phrase attributed by Suetonius (as iacta alea estt]) to Julius Caesar on January 10, 49 BC as he led his army across the River Rubicon in Northern Italy. The die is cast is said when a ​situation is ​certain to ​develop in a ​particular way because ​decisions have been taken that cannot be ​changed: From the ​moment the ​negotiations ​failed, the die was ​cast and ​war was ​inevitable. 

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