Corregidor Flames, The Common, July 18th, 2018
“The Japanese held the island and tunnels (which could fit a thousand hospital beds and a running trolly car) for three years before MacArthur returned. With so much bunker, you’d think I could find it. But there are many false mirages, many memories buried here. The island is a-rash in ruins, like Ancient Greece in a rain forest. There’s an amphitheater, along with decaying walls and cannons porcupining through the canopy. At one point I come across the eternal flame of Corregidor, a three-story, whip-like, steel statue painted orange. It’s called the “Freedom Flame” and is said to “burn” as long as liberty rings across the world.
Ironic that the only other eternal flame I’ve visited is in Hiroshima. That one an actual fire that takes a bleaker look, burning until the last nuclear bomb is disassembled. And which will outlast, I wonder, bombs or freedom?…”