I met Ed for the first time during the war years. I was 8 at the time. Ed came to our home to meet with my Dad who was an officer in Ed’s guerilla outfit.
I met Ed again after the Philippines was liberated. Ed came to our home, this time with more social purpose and no longer under cover of darkness. One of my favorite photographs is of Ed and my Dad, in their crisp, newly issued military uniforms, taken in our backyard during one of those visits.
With hostilities over, we all went about trying to get back to normal lives. Our family was repatriated to the states – Ed stayed on in the Philippines for a while to take care of military matters.
As time went on, we lost track of each other. Then about 10 years ago, I decided to do a Google search on Ed’s guerilla outfit, the East Central Luzon Guerilla Area or ECLGA. This lead me to Ed’s website and his book, “Lieutenant Ramsey’s War.” With this contact information, I wrote Ed a letter and was delighted and excited at this rapid response.
Shortly after this, I had a business trip to California. I contacted Ed and told him that I would like to stop by and see him. He was enthusiastic and in typical Ed and Raqui hospitality and graciousness, they invited me to stay at their home. This gave us the opportunity for long talks – we caught up with what we had been doing since those infamous days more than two-thirds of a century ago.
We were able to get together again when Ed came East to give testimony on the hill. This was an opportunity for Ed and Raqui, and my wife Ruby, to meet and get to know each other.
It is truly my good fortune to have come full circle and reconnect with Ed – a man who meant so much to my family – and to meet Raqui.
That brings me to my final comment – Ed told me during one of our talks how much Raqui meant to him…and Raqui, you have often spoken of your great love for Ed – I know that the feeling is mutual.
Lt. Col. Edwin P. Ramsey
Celebration of Life Memorial and Reception
Remarks by Pete Mabanta