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In Memory of Abie Abraham

July 31, 1913 -  March 22, 2012
 

EXCERPTS  FROM  ABIE'S  BOOK
"OH GOD WHERE ARE YOU"

 
oh god where are you

 
 
  "OH GOD WHERE ARE YOU " 

   
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Excerpt #1
Oh God Where are you
 These wonderful days were coming to a close. We knew it and felt it. As First Sergeant Houghtby was talking to me, my thoughts wandered back to my hometown-my brothers, sisters, friends, and boyhood days. I saw the hillside of Lyndora. Below it I saw the Ukrainian church, saw the old trolley cars, heard the clanging as they slowly rolled away.

  As we traveled to school in our bare feet, patched trousers, and bold heads, we would hear other kids, whose fathers had money, yell at us, "Hey you Hunkies".

  We so-called Hunkies lived in a large crude building that resembled a boxcar, except it didn't have any wheels.  The only heat was an old coal stove in the kitchen; no heat ever reached upstairs into our bedrooms.
 

Excerpt #2
Oh God Where are you

The Filipinos begged me to write my story. I knew that if I did, I would have to go through thousands of notes, and yet I still wasn't sure that I could ever write a story.  I knew it would be a horrible experience for me.
 

Excerpt #3
Oh God Where are you

Continuing to stroll among the graves,  I came to another Gold Star mother who was kneeling and praying at the grave of her son.  After praying for ten minutes, she rose, looked at me and said: "Abie, are you going to write your story?  You know they killed my son; you know they are denying it now.  If you don't tell what happened, no one will ever know the true story, and you will be letting Japan get away with it."

I saw the tears in her eyes. I walked over, wiped her tears and said, "I'll write my story".
She kissed me and said, "Thank you my son."
 

Excerpt #4
Oh God Where are you

A year after the Japanese surrendered, I was notified  by a Japanese-Fillipino  native that the Japanese wanted to surrender to Americans, fearing the reprisal from the Filipinos.

In the hills of Orani, Bataan, where I disinterred many bodies, I got in touch with the Japanese Major. Through an interpreter, he said he wanted to surrender his men.

I told him to be at this spot in the jungle and I would have American troops, who were stationed forty miles away, to give them protection from the Filipinos.

The next day trucks (soldiers from the tank company) arrived to take them to prison camp and back home.

In a ceremony, I was honored to receive the Japanese Major's saber.
 

Excerpt #5
Oh God Where are you

On the 24th of December, my wife said, "Will you be here tomorrow to give the girls their Christmas presents?"  
"Yes, I'll be here."

"Are the Japanese close by?"
That night I kissed my wife good-bye. Neither of us knew that it would be the last good-bye kiss for three years.

Excerpt #6
Oh God Where are you

We're the battling b_____  of Bataan
No Mamma, no Pappa, no Uncle Sam,
No Aunts, No Uncles, No nephews, No Nieces,
No guns or artillery pieces,
and nobody gives a damn.
 

Excerpt #7
Oh God Where are you

I watched the sky darkening over Manila Bay and knew the day was coming to a close. The sun's rays sent a beautiful orange reflection all around the sky. The dusk of the evening gave us the protection we needed as we boarded our ship.

Glancing toward the blacked-out city of Manila, I thought of my poor wife and children. My emotions got the better of me.  How was I to stand it? Dear God, what would happened to them when the Japanese soldiers entered Manila soon?

 

Excerpt #8
Oh God Where are you
The following message will be read and explained to all troops: Every company commander is charged with personal responsibility  for the delivery of this message. Each headquarters will follow up to insure reception by every company or similar units.

Help is on the way from the United States.  Thousands of troops and hundreds of planes are being dispatched.  The exact time of arrival of reinforcements is unknown as they have to fight their way through Japanese attempts against them.  It is imperative that our troops hold until these replacements arrive.

No further retreat is possible.  We have more troops in Bataan than the Japanese have thrown against us; our supplies are ample, a determined defense will defeat the enemy's attack.

It is a question now of courage and determination. Men who will run will merely be destroyed, but men who fight will save themselves and their country.

I call upon every soldier in Bataan to fight in his assigned position, resisting every attack.  This is the only road to salvation.  If we fight, we will win, if we retreat, we will be destroyed.
 

Excerpt #9
Oh God Where are you

Dougout Doug's not timid; he's just caution unafraid. 
 He's protecting carefully the stars Franklin made.
 For four-star generals are rare as food on Bataan.
Dougout Doug is really in his Chris-Craft for the flee, over bounding billows and the wild raging sea. 
For the Japs are pounding at the gate of old Bataan and his troops go starving on.
 

Excerpt #10
Oh God Where are you

...I see no gleam of victory alluring, 
no chance of splendid booty or gain,
My reward for bearing pain is pain,
If I endure---I must go on enduring,
Yet, through the thrill, the zest, the hope is gone, something within me keeps fighting on.
 

Excerpt #11
Oh God Where are you

During the late afternoon, after marching in the torrid heat without any water, we came to a cool stream.  The Japs told us to stop.  The men stared at the water, but no one made a move.  If we die, it was death.  We thought the Japanese had stopped us by the stream to allow us to get a drink.  The water looked so good ans so Clear.

We waited and waited, but still the Japs would not allow us to get a drink of water.  One of the men could bear it no longer.  He rushed forward, fell on his hands and knees, and plunged his face into the water.  A Japanese ran up to him and unsheathed his sword.  WE saw him swing it high with a quick, ugly swish, and the soldier's head rolled away into the stream.  The blood and water mingled together, a violent red.  Suddenly the blood gushed out of the gaping hold at the neck like a waterfall.  The body lunged forward into the stream bed, the hands opening and closing.

 

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