Sometimes, when running is not enough to take out the cob webs in my head, there is a place I go to get some measure of peace and quiet. For me, The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial has become an unexpected oasis providing a peaceful retreat not far from the hustle and bustle of the city. I call this place my "SANCTUARY".
It is a beautiful place, very quiet, clean, calm and peaceful. I enjoy walking through the sprawling grounds while looking at the white marble crosses that mark rows of graves of those who died during the war each one standing strong and proud.
In the center of the cemetery you will find the Chapel with white walls and corridors that state the names of soldiers who have died in battle. It is a powerful homage to the fallen U.S. and Filipino service men and women who fought valiantly together during WWII and which has been very well maintained through the years.
The smell of nature is very relaxing, with it's well manicured lawns and Mahogany trees strategically scattered all around the cemetery. There is a sense of serenity in this place that calms the soul coupled with an overwhelming feeling of reverence giving one a chance to ponder and reflect all about life.
At precisely 5 pm sharp every single day, the "Taps Bugle Call" is traditionally played over the PA system. This also marks the end of the day and the closing of the park thereby signaling for all visitors to finally leave the premises. Though I would prefer to stay a little longer, I leave the place feeling a bit lighter with a clearer head, a better disposition and thankful for being given a momentary place of refuge .......my SANCTUARY.