GIVE US THIS DAY by Sidney Stewart


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Published successfully in 1951 in France, in 1956 in England, this book by an American who survived the Bataan Death March to live through years of agonized captivity at last appears here. The story carries on from the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the Army was swept off to fight on Bataan, leaving Manila to her fate. The author reveals the many aspects of war in many memorable scenes. Guilt for leaving the city unguarded, for shooting a disarmed Japanese whom he could not hate -- or take prisoner -- the protective friendships that gave strength to fight death and horror, the preparation for surrender when on a Bataan beach rifles were broken and the flag burned, the Death March, the dragging ways of dying in compounds, in the hell of ship holds as Allied advances threatened the Japanese. Bombed en route to Japan by American planes, the men escaped naked, swimming to shore, and found only new trials. The end came for the professorial John earliest-TB claimed him; Weldon and Hughes died feverish, in a shiphold; Father Cummings, the priest who chose to stay with the men, died as he spoke the Lord's Prayer; Rass, Stew's closest friend, who had helped so many to die with faith in God, died expressing the conviction that God did not exist --leaving Stew to be discovered by a group of British, who happened on his improvised hospital in Northern Japan. There is an inspirational tone in this expounding of horrors known, a feeling for the suffering of brothers that brought forth both nobleness and the anguish of insanity, a memorial to an extremity of human experience which forgives the transgressor for inhumanity in ignorance.

ISBN: 0393319210
Publisher: Norton