THE REAL "SURVIVORS" OF PALAU -- (House of Representatives - March 02, 2005)
(Mr. PITTS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, Reality TV is very popular these days. "Survivor" was the first of these shows to really break through. This season "Survivor" is being filmed on the island of Palau.
A reader, Major Jerry Wiffler, pointed out to nationalreview.com that this island was also the site of an important battle in 1944. On September 15, 1944, the 1st Marine Division landed on the beaches of Palau in order to protect MacArthur's right flank as he tried to recapture the Philippines. The battle was ferocious, as were most of these island engagements in the South Pacific. Ten thousand and five hundred Japanese troops fought for nearly a month before the Marines were able to secure the island, and during this battle, Major Wiffler recalls, eight Marines earned the Medal of honor for their actions.
Today the island is best known as the setting for a "reality" TV show that pits people against each other for prize money. Sixty years ago, the island was the site of great bravery and courage, not for the sake of prize money, but for the sake of our Nation and for freedom.
Major Wiffler hoped we would remember this.