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Wednesday, 30 May 2012


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Which maintenance may prompt what the mayor of Nagasaki said, "What the bloody hell was that?"

Or Terminator, FWIW. :)

Dear Sarge, your friend's photo has no shadow detail at all, he should have used a camera with more dynamic range!

Just kidding, great photo. Couldn't resist commenting in the style of
"great photographers on the internet"...

And what a wonderful photo it is!

I visited the site of the landing as a teenager nearly more than 45 years ago. A local doctor who was a friend of my parents told us stories of the landing and the war. They are vivid memories to this day.

I honor my dead and in the deepest way, but I get a bit tired of the grandiosity of the whole thing sometimes. Nationalism can be kinda scary.


The American Indians should have re-enactments of their greatest "massacres". That'd be awesome, wouldn't it?

Headdresses and bows and arrows would look awesome in silhouette against the dusk sky.

Though it should be said that looking at the entirety of his career
Gen MacArthur was NO American hero.

According to MAD magazine, circa 1963, MacArthur was misquoted.

What he actually said was: "I shall return...it".

According to MAD he was speaking to an aide about an overdue library book and was misquoted by a reporter.

Gotta love MAD.

Wow, I think that is one of my favourite photos that I have ever seen. I love the mix of soft purple gradients, with striking black shadows :)

My step-father was awarded two Bronze Stars (for bravery and heroism in the face of intense and withering enemy fire) for his actions at Leyte on the day MacArthur returned (the headstone of his grave is so marked at the Veterans Cemetery where is is now buried).

He was 19 years old. I often think whether todays 19 year olds -- or myself when I was 19 -- would have been prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice on a similar day.


Nice parody. In lesser known photo-sharing sites, comments by folks looking for good pictures seem to be genuinely appreciative (at least in my friend's photo blog pages), rather than the snarky put-downs by "great-experts-of-the-internet" or "drive-by" types who stalk the leading sites.


The old memorial at the time you visited was a simple stele marking General MacArthur's footprints cast on a concrete slab. He made the impression himself when at 81 he revisited the Philippines during his "Sentimental Journey" in 1961. (President Kennedy lent him the original 707 Air Force One.) The Leyte Landing anniversary (October 20) is still celebrated as "Liberation Day," an official holiday in Leyte province. For that matter, any American (or caucasian or Black-African) visiting Leyte today will likely as not be greeted "Hey Joe!" by the locals.

David/david b.

The new monument was erected in the 80s. It was a pet project of then First Lady Imelda Marcos (a Leyte├▒a) which might explain its "grandiosity" ("Imeldific" in the vernacular). That said, the MacArthur Monument is a tribute of a grateful Filipino nation to its liberator. To my father's generation the general was a revered hero. He was the apotheosis of the G.I. "Joes" who gave them chocolates even as they got rid of the enemy. They remember the MacArthur of Reminiscences rather than The American Ceasar depicted in William Manchester's nuanced biography.

As a local who took the memorial for granted, I was drawn to the picture by its photographic qualities rather than its subject matter (captioned "Monument of Heroes"). Cast in bronze and heroic in scale, the memorial seeks to recapture in the round the iconic AP photo and/or the "re-enacted" US Army newsreel of the Leyte landing which it resembles more in perspective.

While impressive in the daylight, MacArthur's monument doesn't show the determined set of his jaw captured in the BW AP photo.* It also looks better in-between anniversaries when the bronze skin has weathered to verdigris rather than being daubed in garish gold paint. Which is why Vey's take of the memorial in deep shadow at dawn's first light over Leyte Gulf resonates with me more than the memorial itself. I confess I know more about MacArthur than photography which ain't saying much. (Mike picked the photo out of two I referred.)

*According to Manchester, MacArthur was glaring (behind his Raybans) at the beachmaster who had the temerity to halt the general's Higgins boat in waist-deep surf. He adds that when MacArthur saw the photograph, he immediately recognized its significance. General MacArthur would likewise wade ashore at Lingayen even though the beachmasters there (and the Japanese) were more accommodating. But no iconic photograph came out of that.

Mike - Thanks!

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