MacArthur memorial also damaged by ‘Yolanda’
One of the statues of the U.S. General Douglas MacArthur shrine in Tacloban City has fallen to the enemy that was ‘Yolanda’, the super typhoon that nearly wiped out the entire city and other areas in Central Visayas.
Lying face down in the water after falling at the height of the killer howler, the statue was the only “casualty” among all the other statues representing the brave men led by MacArthur.
The Leyte Landing Memorial is a 4.5-hectare memorial to the landing of MacArthur and his men at Red Beach in Candahug, a barangay of the municipality of Palo in Leyte, five kilometers away from Tacloban. More popularly known as the MacArthur Landing Memorial Park, it consists of about 10-feet tall bronze statues of the general and other men, including then Philippine President Sergio Osmeña, Jr., General Carlos P. Romulo, General Sutherland and other men standing in a man-made pool. The statues stand at the exact spot where MacArthur’s group of about 225,000 troops from 600 ships landed and waded ashore on October 20, 1944. It is constructed to remember MacArthur’s fulfillment of his promise to return to the Philippines after it was occupied by the Japanese during World War II in the Philippines. The Japanese Occupation of the Philippines ended soon after MacArthur landed at Red Beach.
Before the typhoon hit, a museum nearby displayed historic photographs and other mementos including a copy of the general’s speech upon landing and a bronze cast of his footprints. There are no reports yet on what happened to the museum and its contents. Annually, the Leyte Landing is commemorated at this place from where the Leyte Gulf and Samar Island can also be seen from afar.