A must for any American visitor to the Philippines, the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial is a not only a great and emotional symbol of American heroism, it is also a beautiful testament to a complicated history of American intervention in the region.
Located in Metro Manila, the cemetery covers 152 acres, or 62 hectares, of total space and is the eternal home to more than 17,200 Americans killed fighting in the Pacific theater of World War II. Those buried may have either fought during the recapturing of Japanese held islands in New Guinea, or the Battle of the Philippines in 1941 and 1942.
Even though it is surrounded by urban landscape, everything is surprisingly quiet and peaceful upon entering the cemetery, giving hundreds of wanderers each day the chance to be alone with their thoughts. As the largest resting place for Americans lost during the war in the region, the headstones themselves, which are made of marble, take on a minimalistic spherical pattern, separated only by an occasional plants or shrubbery.