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message 1: by Debra (new)

Debra Brown (debrabrown) | 957 comments Mod
I am copying this information here for Joyce.

My name is Joyce Shaughnessy and I have written three books, the last two still in print are "A Healing Place" (the Great Amercian Depression and WWII in Pacific Theatre. The third and the one that I think is the most factual but very readable is entirely set in the Philippines during the beginning of WWII until the United States finally came to their aid after almost three years of living and dying under Japanese cruelty. It is "Blessed Are the Merciful, Our Forgotten Soldiers".
I wrote it because after devouring about 30 nonfiction books about the subject (the Philippines were bombed 9 hours after Pearl Harbor), I realized and had not known that there were so many American nurses there at the front lines rendering aid. The really sad thing is that the U.S. couldn't send food, supplies, anything because it had already been promised to Europe (Churchill made a mad dash for the white house on Pear Harbor day). Finally, in April, 1942, our men and women and Filipinos were ordered to surrender both Corregidor and Bataan. They had been fighting valiantly on half rations all that time and had even gotten to the point where the only ammunition they had was taken off fallen Japanese soldiers and they were eating insects and rats,etc. The men were forced to walk the Death March (65 miles) and about 12,500 of them were cruelly murdered by beheading, allowed no water, food, anything. The women were taken to internment camps and also starved but not beheaded, but many raped. They worked in the hospital in Santo Tomas.
The book is non-fiction because I wanted to keep some privacy for hurt family members (some with whom I've talked), but there are real poems, quotes, and even a letter by a 19 yr old poet who knew he was dying. I've read it at least a 100 times and still cry.
My website is: blessedarethemerciful.net. and I also have a you tube video on dashboard.
I have learned so many important things I didn't realize about "Our Greatest Generation", they are sadly now dying every day, and I would like to honor them.
I have another giveaway. I didn't write it for the money, although it cost a lot to publish, but I just want people to know how much we owe these men & women veterans and what they sacrificed so that we could live in freedom in what I consider to be the greatest nation in the world. Just one more thing. There is a romance in it but it is based on a certain couple who were really there (5 couples were married on Bataan by the chaplain right before surrender. They knew they would be separated, possibly killed, but they truly loved each other. Please read it because I do know we owe them that much respect and honor.
Thank you for listening. Joyce Shaughnessy, http://blessedarethemerciful.net. Again, there is another giveaway and it is "Blessed Are the Merciful". Blessed Are the Merciful by Joyce Shaughnessy

message 2: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) Copying this for Cecilia from the introduction thread.

This year on April 9 marks the 70th anniversary of the Fall of Bataan. What is Bataan? And why is it so important?

When I wrote my novel, In Her Mother’s Image, little did I know that I will be embarking on a crusade to create awareness of Bataan and its significance today. My novel is historical fiction – it is the story of a family’s ordeal during World War II in the Philippines. The war is seen through the eyes of a rambunctious eight-year-old child named Chiquita whose innocent and carefree world is shattered by the invasion of the Imperial Japanese Army on December 8, 1941. Four months later on April 9, 1942, her fears become even more palpable during the fall of Bataan when her beloved brother goes missing. The sacrifices and emotional toll that befall her and her entire family are relived thirty years later when she goes back to the land of her birth. Neither time nor space could erase the emotional ravages of war.

I was inspired to write the novel by the many World War II stories that I heard from my father, mother and aunt while growing up in the Philippines. Although the story is fictional, the circumstances surrounding the story were based on real life. My father, Luis Gaerlan, Jr., was drafted in the 41st Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Armed Forces of the Far East in November, 1941. A month later on December 8, 1941, the Philippines was invaded by the Japanese Imperial Army, just nine hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

When I started doing readings of my novel a year ago, I was flabbergasted to learn that not too many people in this country have heard of Bataan and its place in history. And even young people with Filipino ancestors who fought during World War II were unaware of its significance.

The surrender of the Bataan peninsula marked the largest surrender in American military history. Some 60,000 Filipino and 15,000 American soldiers, mostly sick and emaciated, were forced to march under searing heat with barely any provisions for food, water or medicine in order to reach their prison camps some 60 miles away. Between 10,000 to 15,000 Filipino soldiers and about 800 American soldiers died along the way in what became infamously known as the Bataan Death March.

But what is the significance of Bataan aside from the sacrifice of so many lives? In January, 1942, a month after Pearl Harbor, the Filipino and American troops were already subsisting in half rations. And yet, these troops managed to valiantly hold on until April 9, 1942. Singapore fell in February, 1942 and Indonesia a month after. Bataan delayed the momentum of the Japanese invasion of the Pacific, sparing Australia from onslaught and preventing the complete takeover of the Pacific by the Axis forces. If not for Bataan, people in Asia Pacific and maybe other parts of the world may not be living in freedom today.

It is quite unfortunate that in 1946, barely a year after the end of the second world war, President Harry Truman rescinded the rights of the Filipino soldiers who valiantly fought during the war. To this day, these rights have not been fully restored.


message 3: by Cecilia (new)

Cecilia Gaerlan (goodreadscomceciliagaerlan) | 16 comments J.A. wrote: "Copying this for Cecilia from the introduction thread.

This year on April 9 marks the 70th anniversary of the Fall of Bataan. What is Bataan? And why is it so important?

When I wrote my novel, In..."

Thanks so much!

message 4: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) You're welcome.

message 5: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Shaughnessy (joyceshaughnessy) | 67 comments My new book is about a group of soldiers during WWII in the Philippines who either escaped from their Japanese captors or never surrendered to them at all. The book is called "The Unsurrendered, A Search for Jacob." Although it is a difficult topic to cover because it involved so many different islands (there are 7,000 islands in the Philippines) I think it's important to discuss what one does when faced with the prospect of murder hungry Japanese who killed many of their captives because they didn't respect them and didn't want to feed them. These groups acted much like the French partisans did, making it difficult for the Japanese to have transportation from one place to another and finding that unless they stayed in large groups, they most likely would be attacked. It was the job of The Unsurrendered to blow up bridges and roads, and to attack small pockets of Japanese. They also made radios out of unlikely things like kitchen equipment, etc. and kept in contact with each other and the Allies when they finally came to their rescue almost 4 years later. It took more resolve and ingenuity to stay hidden and to disrupt the Japanese rather than to simply bow and take their punishment.
Joyce Shaughnessy

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