Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lift up your heads ...

Christine Snyder writes about her aunt's rescue from an interment camp in the Philippines in World War II.

Sixty-five years ago today, U.S. Marines iconically raised the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

And 65 years ago today, hundreds of miles to the south, my aunt walked to freedom.

Sister Mary Beata Mackie spent over three years in a Japanese internment camp in the Philippines during World War II. Like most of the more than 2,100 others in the camp, she was malnourished and emaciated in the end.

Sister Mary Beata was one of 53 Maryknoll Missionary Sisters caught in the invasion of the Philippines after Pearl Harbor.

Most of the internees had to be carried out of the camp they were so weak.

Their liberation was possibly the most incredible airborne rescue behind enemy lines ever devised. It was initiated by Gen. Douglas MacArthur and recognized by all as miraculously maneuvered.

What gave my aunt the strength?

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