Thank you, Raqui. It's with a great deal of pride I say Ed Ramsey was my friend. But, no, that's not exactly right. Ed Ramsey is my friend and I am certain there will be a day when we again meet face to face. That may or may not be some time off but there have been a number of other occasions for the two of us when it has been "too long between drinks" and I am very sure the next time will be just like all the others. The conversation will just continue as though one of us just had to go to the bathroom.
That's how our friendship has always been. I believe it's safe to say we became fast friends upon our first meeting in Manila in 1985. We were both very active in the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, I as head of Procter & Gamble's Philippine subsidiary and Ed as "Ramsey". Ramsey. That was quite enough identification. People there knew who he was. I hope they still do.
Ed and I shared many mutual interests importantly including a strong affinity for the results and lessons of World War II. We were two of about five founders of a non-profit through the American Chamber titled the Filipino-American Memorial Endowment -- or FAME for short -- which we started for the purpose of providing funds for the perpetual care of WWII monuments to which we referred to as "symbols of the shared values which enabled us to prevail over the Japanese enemy." At that time a combination of neglect and the hot, humid climate were resulting in a serious rot and rust of these sacred spots. FAME is still alive and well, having raised and spent nearly $200,000 -- a lot in the Philippines -- in the maintenance of such spots as Corregidor Island, Mile Markers along the Bataan Death March and memorials such as to the Hell Ships which transported POWs to Japan. Both Ed and I have continued to be involved with FAME and I am proud to be the US-based representative of FAME today.
Ed was a true hero and a very modest one. I specifically remember a conversation many years ago which underscores this point. We were discussing the age-old question of "Do men make events or do events make men." Ed was quite clear he believed events make men. He said had he never been put in the position he found himself in in 1942, he would never have made the decisions nor conducted the activites he did. Maybe so. But, my friends, each of us and many, many more people as well are today far better off as a result of those decision and actions of Colonel Edwin Price Ramsey.
Rest in peace, my old friend. I'll be seeing you.
Lt. Col. Edwin P. Ramsey
Celebration of Life Memorial and Reception
Remarks by Mr. Alex Keller
Founder, Filipino American Memorial Endowment