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The World War II era is considered, by most pundits, as the “Greatest Generation” and it can be hardly be refuted when one considers the tremendous triumphs as well as the tragic travails of those who served the U.S. so proudly. Intertwined with the U.S. courage are the Filipino troops, particularly in one of the most historic of events – “The Bataan Death March”.
Shortly after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, they controlled all the Western Pacific except the Philippines - the Japanese began attacks on Corregidor Island and the Bataan Peninsula in April of 1942.
American and Filipino troops ultimately surrendered and were then forced to march north on Bataan's only paved road to the prisoner-of-war Camp O'Donnell in Tarlac Province.
The 70-mile march, which began April 9, 1942, killed between 7,000 and 10,000 American soldiers, and 250,000 Filipino soldiers and civilians. Since no records were kept, the exact death toll is unknown. (April 2012, Virginia Pilot)
On April 6, the Bataan Association will host the “2nd Annual Chesapeake Bataan Death March” on Saturday April 27, 2013 (see their Facebook page under the same title). It is the 71st Anniversary and there are different starting times for the memorial walk which commences and ends at “Great Dismal Swamp”.
Participation is free and open to the public. Closing remarks will be at noon.
Please go to the Facebook site, “2nd Annual Chesapeake Bataan Death March” for more specific details and information.
Donations can go to "Mountain Eagles" and "ANCOP" at the event. Early registration information is also on the Facebook page.
Special Thanks to Cheryl Teope Burk for the lead and information to assist in this article.