Larry G. Cambronero is the grandson of the late, legendary, Rufino “Robert” Cambronero, SFC, US Army retired, a WW I and WW II Bataan Death March, POW veteran survivor. Larry is also the son of the late Isaac “Ike” A. Cambronero Sr., a Guerilla fighter during the liberation of Manila during WW II. As a tribute to both his grandfather Robert and dad Ike, Larry joined the Bataan, Corregidor Survivors’ Association and Their Families (BCSA&TF) in April 2007 as its auditor. In 2011, Larry spearheaded the creation of a memorial Monument at Dr. Jose Rizal Park in Beacon, Hill- Seattle. Larry is currently serving a third term as Commander (President) of BCSA&TF. In this guest post, the team at BCSA&TF give us some insight into how the Filipino-American WWII Museum evolved:
In April, 2015, at the memorial monument at Dr. Jose Rizal Park, Commander Larry Cambronero mentioned to the Bataan, Corregidor Survivors’ Association and Their Families (BCSA&TF) officers that it was time to repay our veterans once more by creating a World War II exhibit dedicated to them in the Major Quijance room at the Seattle Filipino Community Center. Everyone present, including the late Captain Nick Golla, wholeheartedly agreed. From then on, a committee was formed, the project cost was deliberated, and permission was obtained from Filipino Community leaders. Executive Director, Sheila Burrus, expressed the leaders’ interest in co-sponsoring the exhibit and the project was able to move forward.
In November 2015, Larry visited the National World War II Museum during a personal trip to New Orleans, LA to get ideas for the exhibit. The concept of the signage in the WW II Museum, created by Norma Quijance Miluzzo, came from that trip. Bataan Death March photos were reviewed by Captain Golla for approval to display in the exhibit. He said that no matter how difficult it was to accept the brutalities suffered by him and his comrades by the Japanese Imperial Army, these memories had to be shared with the public—especially the families of the Bataan Corregidor Survivors’ Association.
A grant through the Open 4Culture program supported the purchase of materials necessary to complete the project in time for the Grand Opening of the exhibit on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm at the same time of the 75th anniversary commemoration of the Day of Valor—the Fall of Bataan and Corregidor. The public is invited to join Commander Cambronero and officers of the prestigious association to commemorate this momentous occasion and to proudly open publicly the Filipino-American WWII Museum inside the Filipino Community Center of Seattle.