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Video via Mike Enage

The Battle of Leyte in the Philippines was the largest naval battle of World War II, and, many say, the largest in history, involving more than 200,000 troops. American and Australian forces fought the Imperial Japanese Navy in a battle that raged for four days in October 1944.



Before and after the the siege of Bastogne:

Battleground (1949)

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Battleground, the 1949 World War II film follows an infantry regiment in the 101st Airborne Division before and after the siege of Bastogne at the Battle of the Bulge, with Van Johnson, James Whitmore, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalbán and George Murphy, directed by William Wellman from a script by Robert Pirosh.

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A place for the dead

Two heroes in my life.

In the end all we have are ourselves. On Memorial Day my wife and I used to honor her father who was a paratrooper in the Philippines in World War II. We raised our glasses and drank to the man who jumped out of planes and helped save the world.

Now he is dead and my wife is dead. Alone in my bungalow on this Memorial Day I raised my glass and drank to them both. Two heroes in my life.

Outside, I hear the fireworks celebrating the sacrifices made in all wars in the name of freedom. I hope the dead are not alone. It would be wonderful to think they are in a place, a holy place, awaiting our arrival. On a personal level, I would give anything to be reunited with my brothers and my son and my wife. Time to catch up. What stories to tell. What joy.

The cynic in me says, Tough luck, it’s never gonna happen. The stoned drunk in me says, Don’t be too sure, you don’t have the first clue about what’s possible with the indestructible atoms of the human mind and the unknown state of wave-being.

In the meantime we are alone, all we have are ourselves and if that’s not enough, God help us, and if there is no God, then we might as well blow our brains out.

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