Realizing that I'm out of the country trying to find various combinations of Thai food that don't give me the shits, I figured I had to do something for Memorial Day besides a half-assed blog post. So I headed out towards the Burmese border and visited the infamous Thailand-Burma railway. Here's the most famous span (which has been rebuilt) known as the Bridge on the River Kwai.
During WWII, the Japanese used forced labor of enslaved Asians and Allied POWs in its construction in what were the most brutal methods since the Pyramids were built. From the Wiki:
About 180,000 Asian labourers and 60,000 Allied prisoners of war (POWs) worked on the railway. Of these, around 90,000 Asian labourers and 16,000 Allied POWs died as a direct result of the project. The dead POWs included 6,318 British personnel, 2,815 Australians, 2,490 Dutch, about 356 Americans and a smaller number of Canadians.Nearby is the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery which is the resting place for many who died, and I was surprised to see that, unlike Arlington, many of the headstones had personal inscriptions. I thought this one was worth sharing.
I wonder if the people working under these miserable conditions could've predicted that the Allies would prevail and Japan would morph from psychopathic imperial power to one of the strongest economies and most stable societies in the modern world. It's strange how history works, but these men didn't have the luxury of seeing it pan out for the better.
Here's some other bloggers with Memorial Day posts:
- Greta with a poem at Hooah Wife and Friends
- David M has a letter from a gold star Dad
- Ranger Against War with a Vietnam-era Photo
- Bad Dogs and Such (in Iraq) with a Motivator
- Miserable Donuts with a video
- Persistent left-wing whiner Susie Madrak at C&L with some shitty, anti-military Dylan video from the 60s sparking the question "How Bad Can These People Suck?"