April 10, 1942

Though we refused to believe the Nishi-Nishi headline, Troops ON EASTERN FRONT OF BATAAN OFFER SURRENDER, We were unreasonably depressed. One could see small groups gravely discussing the headline throughout the campus.

But a note to Margo from Kay, who was still outside with her ailing sister, convinced me that it must be true. She wrote, “I hope you didn’t hear the news until this morning. We have known for several days that it was coming. But I didn’t know just how those three words would sound until the Voice of Freedom from Corregidor announced that “Bataan has fallen. Now I know. Sorry I don’t feel like writing a cheerful note. I am damned mad and sick and tired of talking myself into believing things that aren’t so.”

When Margo and I finished reading the note, she burst into bitter weeping, while Leslie, with a husband and two sons in the war, remained tense and silent.

I thought of Kay and her delicate sister with her two small children. The sisters were married to brothers, and both had fought side by side in Bataan. What was in store for them now?

When I told Catesy about the morning headline and Kay’s note, he became unreasonably angry. “You girls must be working hand in glove with the Japanese propaganda machinel”

Amazed and saddened by his reaction, I felt completely alone. I felt that the news was true, and knowing it gave me a feeling of desolation. If I could have talked about the surrender with Catesy, it would have eased and lessened my anxiety. It was hard to understand that adults could behave so unrealistically. Yet there were hundreds like Catesy in the camp. When the fall of Bataan was mentioned, they became infuriated.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin