Defense Secretary Jim Mattis recently said, "The tragedy of war is well enough known.. " Generals are sometimes the last to press for war, partly because they know the human cost. When we were reporting in Southeast Asia, we found a little known resting place for Americans, that stands as a symbol of the toll that wars take.
In the middle of the Philippine capital of Manila, 152 acres of sacred ground.
Bobby Bell: This is the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. The sheer magnitude this is again such a big site, the biggest that we maintains outside the us of a, the battles that took place in the Pacific, the biggest battlefield ever in the history of the United States are all represented here.These are laza marble headstones from the.
Bobby Bell oversees the Manila American Cemetery for the American Battle Monuments commission. The commission is a US federal agency that preserves and protects the hallowed ground where America's war heroes are buried around the world. In this case, those who died in the Pacific theatre during World War II.
Bobby Bell: there are more than 17000 US interred here and there are over 500 Philippino scouts interred here as well we have more than 36,000 names on our tablets of the missing. This is by far the largest American overseas military cemetery that exists outside the United States of America.
With the most graves of U.S. World War II soldiers on foreign soil. The American cemetery in Normandy, France is the most-visited of its kind and may be a better known World War II resting place for fallen troops more than 9,000 Americans who died when the US and its allies launched a major assault on Nazi-occupied France in June 1944.
The Manila grave sites are marked with either Christian crosses or Jewish stars.
Bobby Bell: They're laid out in rows upon rows in plots and they're beautifully placed in a way that from every direction they're aligned.
Sharyl Attkisson: to me it looks like soldiers standing at attention.
Bobby Bell: good point and you're not the first to say. That that is so true.
And with each marker, standing row on row. A name, a place, and a reason to pause and reflect.
Sharyl Attkisson: This has been your line of work for decades, but do you ever get sad or do you feel melancholy or do you feel pride, what do you feel as you visit and work at this site? Bobby Bell: Mostly i'm humbled when you consider the sacrifice that was made by so many for the peace and prosperity we enjoy today to me it's an honor to take care of their final resting place.