Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 3 - Recognizing Sacrifice

 




As Christians, Good Friday is the day we recognize the crucifixion of Christ. The Filipino people take this day off, and today we saw why. We traveled into the countryside and observed many of the celebratory activities that take place on Good Friday in the Philippines. Catholicism is the main religion in the Philippines, and we witnessed how devout their practices are. People reenacted the crucifixion along the roads in the form of a parade by carrying crosses and demonstrating repentance by whipping their own backs. Many  of the veterans seemed to be pleased that so many people were taking part in the day's activities. It was interesting to see how different their celebrations were than anything we had experienced at home. Even though we don't celebrate in the same ways, it was a good reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for us all.

After our travels, we visited a important bridge over the Cabu river. During WWII, it was blown up by Filipino Guerillas during the raid on Cabanatuan. This act significantly impacted the final outcome of the raid, as it allowed the U.S. Rangers enough time to save all the Prisoners of War that were held in the camp at Cabanatuan. A short distance away we stopped to visit this camp where the POWs were set free. Three of the veterans on our trip spent time here. The veterans recollected many memories from this sight. They were also able to find their former comrades in the names listed on the wall honoring those who died at the camp.

Because of the distance we traveled today, we were able to hear many stories from our veteran, Warren "Jorgy" Jorgenson. He was in the 4th Marines and was stationed in China during WWII. He was then shipped to Corregidor where he was shot and captured by the Japanese. He was prisoner of war for three years, and shared many stories of the conditions he faced while at the POW. camps. Even though he has been through so much, his boisterous personality and positive outlook on life would never hint at his haunting past. He is grateful for this opportunity and his sincerity is unquestionable.

The opportunity to travel with such an amazing man who did so much for our country is truly inspirational. Whether we're eating Filipino fast food or sharing stories from back home, the bond we share with "Jorgy" is already special and unique. Thus far, this trip has been a tremendous learning experience, and the first hand accounts of the veterans, who sacrificed so much, are what has made it so special.

Today we recognize the sacrifice Jesus made for our lives through the crucifixion, as well as celebrating and learning about the veterans who modeled this behavior by giving their lives for our freedom.

Nathan Hartsell and JoHannah Fields

5 comments:

  1. This is good stuff. My father is Warren Jorgenson in the POW group. This is such a memorable (and even spiritual) experience for him. I, and the family, are thrilled to share this experience with him through this blog.

    Thank you so much!

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    1. Sir, please read my comment below concerning, my father, Tom Mikita.

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  2. Thank you to the students of the college of the ozarks and the wonderful young people who are attending to my Dad, Wayne Carringer. You are to commended for you desire to learn about these veterans'sacrifices they made so that we might continue to live in freedom. I was concerned about my Dad at almost 92 making on his part again such a heroic journey. God has given us a home of purpose and we extend to each student a place of comfort if ever you are close to NC. Thanks for the blog and allowing the family to be a part of this journey

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  3. I am the son of a Bataan Death March/Japanese POW. My father's name was Tom Mikita. I have just watched a video from the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Descendants Group convention that was held in Norfolk, Virginia on May 22-26, 2013. I listened very intently to the words of the veterans as they gave accounts of their suffering and Mr. Jorgy Jorgenson mentioned that he was held at the Hanawa cooper mine. That is the same location that my father was. Can anyone find out if he knew my father and reply back to me. Thank you.

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    1. Tamara Jorgenson TurnerJuly 25, 2014 at 7:25 AM

      Hello Sir. I am Warren 'Jorgy' Jorgenson's Grandaughter. I'm not certain if my Dad has seen your request for information from my grandfather. I will pass along the request. Jorgy is currently living in Nebraska.

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