On Saturday I walked with my dad and some of his JROTC cadets to commemorate and remember the Bataan Death March. From Wikipedia:
"The Bataan Death March was the forcible transfer by the Imperial Japanese Army of 60,000–80,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war. The transfer began on April 9, 1942, after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II. The total distance marched from Mariveles to San Fernando and from the Capas Train Station to Camp O'Donnell is variously reported by differing sources as between 60 and 69.6 mi. The march was characterized by severe physical abuse and wanton killings, and was later judged by an Allied military commission to be a Japanese war crime."
Before we started we had a moment of silence for the thousands of soldiers who died. I think that made it more real for us.
|ready to start!|
My dad had lunch with a Death March survivor in Seattle 20 years ago and said that the stories this man told were so horrific that it was hard to keep eating. He said that they were all exhausted and wounded from the battle, and it was humid and 110 degrees. The soldiers gave them one handful of rice and one handful of water PER DAY. He told awful stories of killing prisoners for no reason or for made up reasons. I can't believe something like this happened 70 years ago and that this kind of torture and inhumane treatment is happening right now in other places.
"Of the estimated 80,000 POWs at the march, only 54,000 made it to Camp O'Donnell."
|my view most of the walk|
|we stopped at each mile point to read a blurb about the March|
It was rainy and windy and muddy and cold, but it wasn't 110 degrees with soldiers prodding me with bayonets, so I didn't complain. I thought the Nebraska wilderness and farmland was actually quite pretty.
|nature is so refreshing|