Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Manila American Cemetery and Memorial

[Note: This is a government shutdown related post that, for some reason, has been in my 'drafts' folder. Oops]

I'd been hearing rumours that the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial (MACM) has been closed due to the US government shutdown, so we decided to take a trek out of the house and take a look for ourselves. We live in Taguig City and the Cemetery is within a few kilometers of our house.

On October 7th, 2013, a Monday morning, we drove around a bit and finally found the MACM. We arrived at noon and the gates were locked. Normal business hours for the MACM are 9am-5pm, pretty much every day of the year except for Christmas and New Year's day.
I saw two guards at the guard house and lots of maintenance staff on the grounds. I talked to one guard who explained that the Cemetery was closed due to the shutdown. I asked if they were running at reduced staff and he replied "No, we are fully staffed, but we are unpaid at the moment." I asked him if the Cemetery could be open at this moment, and he said "Yes" and laughed a bit I commented that being fully staffed, but closed, was sort of stupid, wasn't it? He laughed again. Nice man, though - he went to the guard house and brought me a brochure and stated that he hoped I would come by again when it was open.
 He smiled the whole time as I took pictures.

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