19 SEP 1945 is the 74th Anniversary of President Truman awarding General Jonathan Wainwright, the Medal of Honor.
Citation: Distinguished himself by intrepid and determined leadership against greatly superior enemy forces. At the repeated risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in his position, he frequented the firing line of his troops where his presence provided the example and incentive that helped make the gallant efforts of these men possible. The final stand on beleaguered Corregidor, for which he was in an important measure personally responsible, commanded the admiration of the Nation's allies. It reflected the high morale of American arms in the face of overwhelming odds. His courage and resolution were a vitally needed inspiration to the then sorely pressed freedom-loving peoples of the world.
One of Many Incredible Stories of SYNC surrounding Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE.
Subject: General Wainwright's Piano MEMENTO for you and Story
Date: 28 June 2014 at 3:33:33 AM EDT
My Father snapped this one memento photo on 30 August 2003, a few days before I would finally complete Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE. with Copyright date: 11 SEPTEMBER 2003.
In his home, I actually played the Theme from that piece... on HIS Piano, the Piano of General Jonathan Wainwright. Odds?
Remarkably, we were attending a wedding-announcement party for my cousin who had rented out a large home in the town where I first lived as a newborn… Rye, NY. I was wrapping on the 70-minute piece, Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE. and found myself in "The Wainwright House."
No. I hadn’t made any connection yet. I believe General Wainwright’s Father was also a General who served in WWI.
In a large, personal, now-made-public Library, where they had positioned the Sushi Chef... consider the SYNC Ironies... was a large collection of books about the Philippines. It was there that I found the book "Through the Valley of the Kwai" by Ernest Gordon.
They allowed me to borrow the book, which I later mailed back to them.
Through the Valley of the Kwai was then made into the film: TO END ALL WARS.
This CARD was in that book.
Ed Stoddard was the Principal at Chester HS, NY where I spent my first year as a Teacher. A humble Man, he was a great influence.
Note the date on which he took out the same book that I had found 40-years later. (Also close to the Kennedy Assassination.)
7 December 1963
Note the date that I had signed this book out of the WAINWRIGHT Library. Yes... I played the Theme for Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE ... (at first unknowingly) ... on General Wainwright's Piano... in a house that just happened to be in the CITY where I was born. And from his house in Rye, NY, you could clearly see the Trade Center in NYC.
I was at his home for a wedding party, and I had no idea, yet, that "Wainwright" was thee Wainwright.
I snapped this photo! (Long before higher quality phones.)
When I returned from that trip, where a Japanese Sushi Chef served delicious food in Wainwright's Library, the Library in which I had found the book that just happened to have been signed out by my first principal, I saw this Realtor Sign on the house right next to mine.
In early September, and preparing for a large family gathering to celebrate the 100th anniversary of my Great Grandfather Ambrose Melillo swearing the Oath to become an American Citizen, I was now completing Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE. for the 11 SEPTEMBER 2003 Copyright. It would also be Spencer's 2nd Birthday.
We were hit by Hurricane Isabel: (Our house was destroyed way beyond what is revealed in these photos.)
With a newly diagnosed physical ailment, and with no bed, no bedroom!, and working under heavily ”adverse" conditions, Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE. was completed under "duress" right after playing the Theme in General Wainwright's home.
Later, 143 Musicians selected from 5 Japanese Military Groups around the Island of Japan, joined by 300 American Vocalists from Shenandoah and Old Dominion Universities would play THIS Music. More than 350 Bataan/Corregidor Vets would receive a copy.
Many impossible, fascinating things happened during this deeply Spiritual process of Honoring these Men by composing, organizing, and negotiating for 2 years with the Japanese Ministry of Defense.
As predicted with SYMPHONY #2: AT LIFE's EDGE... namely that "people would get up out of their wheelchairs", Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE was eventually played for 200 American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor and their families at the 2007 convention... where 90+-year-old Men did indeed stand from their wheelchairs. At the premiere in Roswell, NM on 4/4/04, I was given the pin of the regiment by Jack Aldrich... a Great Man indeed. He said, "from this day forward, you are my Grandson."
Jack was truly one of the Greatest Men I have ever known... and the very first Survivor I had ever met.
I had missed meeting ERNEST GORDON, the author of Through the Valley of the Kwai by one year. He had just passed away.
My Friends... What GREAT TREASURES we somehow JUST manage to miss!
That book, Through the Valley of the Kwai... recanting the stories of a Bridge system our OWN STANLEY WOODY, (Survivor from the USS Houston and local ex-POW) helped to build!, is a great testament to FAITH and the triumph of Good in even the most terrible of circumstances.
People often ask, ”What is your connection to these Men and Women? Why is this so important to you?"
This letter is a tiny, partial answer.
There are those who would say, "what a coincidence... all of this!"
But if to you, "this" is "coincidence," then all of everything that ever happened and ever will happen is simply one big accident... and you have my sympathy. ; - )!
My Friends. Enjoy. We are alive together... for reasons yet to be discovered.
Stephen of the Storm