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This year I had the opportunity to visit the Bridge on the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. We visited the JEATH War Museum located on the rivers edge. JEATH the acronym for Japan, England, America, Australia, Thailand and Holland, represent the nationalities of the 61,700 POW’s and 270,000 Asian laborers, who under horrific conditions were forced to build a railway from Thailand to Burma (now Myanmar) during World War II. The railroad was intended to move supplies from the Burmese front where the Japanese were fighting the British. The railroad became known as the Death Railway.
The Museum was an exact reconstruction of the POW huts used during that time. As we walked through the hut, I viewed paintings that had been rendered by one of the prisoners of war. They showed what the prisoners had to endure; malnutrition, torture and disease. I immediately was brought to tears by these images. No pictures were allowed to be taken, but these paintings are imbedded not only in my mind, but in my heart. After seeing what these men endured, I took an oath never to complain again. I have no right, as someone has paid a high price for my freedom.
My father was a World War II Veteran and he reenlisted and served his country during the Korean War. I will always be grateful for the sacrifices he made for his family and his country.
If you know of anyone who has served or is presently serving in the military, please take a moment to extend a simple thank you, for their time and dedication for preserving freedom for our country. A few kind words for their efforts will greatly be appreciated.