Pacific War Memorial Dome

Satellite image of the Pacific War Memorial Dome on Corregidor.

Today, April 9, is a Philippine holiday named Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) also known as the Bataan and Corregidor Day. This day marks the Fall of Bataan in 1942 when American and Filipino troops surrendered to the invading Japanese forces during World War II.

Inside the Pacific War Memorial dome showing the oculus on top and the marble altar underneath. © Carmelo Bayarcal (CC)

To commemorate this occasion, I would like to finally feature a sight on the historic island of Corregidor. Located near the highest point of the island at the area called the Topside, the Pacific War Memorial pays tribute to the Filipino and American soldiers who fought in the Pacific during World War II. The centerpiece of the memorial is a large dome that is sometimes called the Dome of Peace. The dome has an oculus at its top and at the center under the dome is a circular marble altar with the following poem written on its side:

Sleep, my sons, your duty done… for Freedom’s light has come
Sleep in the silent depths of the sea, or in your bed of hallowed sod
Until you hear at dawn the low, clear reveille of God

I’ve read that the dome was designed so that the sun will shine directly on the altar on May 6, the anniversary of the fall of Corregidor. But seeing as the dome looks perfectly symmetrical, I think it may just be a happy coincidence because the sun is directly above the latitude of Corregidor in late April and early May.

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Posted on
April 9, 2014
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CalabarzonLandmarks / Monuments
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