Entrepreneur and military historian Shalom Lamm has spent many years contributing to the Jewish-American community. Shalom Lamm’s recent work includes Operation Benjamin, a project that provides proper grave markers for fallen Jewish-American soldiers, including one who died following the Bataan Death March.
Most accounts of the Bataan Death March describe it as one of the most devastating events a soldier could experience. However, one soldier, Marine PFC Irvin Scott, lived to tell how an act of humanityby a Japanese guard saved his life.
Ill-trained and inexperienced Philippine and American soldiers were forced to retreat into the jungles of the Bataan Peninsula after a Japanese attack at Luzon. The Allied forces surrendered, but the Japanese marched the prisoners of war 66 miles from Mariveles to San Fernando in groups of 100.
Survivors witnessed their comrades dying from disease, lack of food, being run over by trucks or tanks, and being bayoneted. When they finally arrived at POW camps, PFC Scott and others were ordered to build a road to Tayabas, but Scott had contracted malaria and passed out while working. A Japanese guard secretly provided him extra food and medicine, which the guard hid in a banana leaf and dropped onto the ground. This act helped save Scott’s life.
For decades, Shalom Lamm has leveraged his success as a managing member of Lion and Lamm Development into good works for his local community and the Jewish community at large. In addition to holding membership with the Hevra Kadisha, Shalom Lamm serves as a tireless advocate for the recognition of Jewish American soldiers who died fighting in World War II.
To support his interest in this area, Mr. Lamm founded Operation Benjamin, a nonprofit that works to ensure fallen Jewish soldiers are buried with an appropriate Star of David grave marker. Recently, Operation Benjamin collaborated with the American Battle Monuments Commission and the US ambassador to the Philippines to place Star of David headstones over the graves of Jewish soldiers buried at the Manila American Cemetery.
Since its dedication in 1960, the Manila American Cemetery has served as the resting place for 17,184 fallen American soldiers who served in World War II. The cemetery, which is located in the Philippines, spans 152 total acres and includes a white masonry chapel, as well as mosaic maps that recognize the achievements of the American Armed Forces. In addition, Manila American Cemetery honors over 36,000 soldiers missing in action, whose names can be found on the Tablets of the Missing.
For further information on the Manila American Cemetery, visit http://www.abmc.gov/Manila.
Shalom Lamm is a highly experienced executive who specializes in the acquisition, financing, rehabilitation, and development of rentals and housing. Shalom Lamm also has a great interest in military history, which encouraged him to take a master’s degree in military studies from the American Military University.
In the simplest sense, military history is the study of the wars that have been fought, lost, and won throughout the history of the world. Whether fought with catapults, guns, or bots, wars have been major forces of change over the centuries. Military history aims to shed light on warfares and analyze its roots, immediate effects, and lingering effects.
The study of military history involves detailed operational studies. It requires looking at the impact of war in society as people know it today. It takes a look at how the wars of the past have led to the development of institutions and governments. It also studies the evolution of warfare technology. Ultimately, military history seeks to analyze how wars, as the biggest test of mankind, have shaped societies and individuals over time.