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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bataan Death March: 6 Days of Valor

Ninth of April is an important event in both Philippine and American history. On this day we remember the fall of Bataan, the province where the US and Filipino forces had taken their last stand against the Japanese Imperial Forces.

It took three months of ruthless military battles before the US forces had decided to surrender to the Japanese. What followed was a gruesome “Death March”. It was a literal march toward death.

Seventy-six thousand American and Filipino prisoners of wars marched from Bataan to Capaz, Tarlac without rest and food for six days and with only a single sip of water. The Japanese Imperial forces treated the prisoners with unspeakable cruelty. Trucks run over those who fell from fatigue and could not continue the march. They were beaten and stabbed with bayonets. According to survivor accounts, Japanese soldiers even beheaded or shot in the head many of the prisoners. Of the 76,000 personnel that started the march, only 54,000 reached the prison camp alive and many more died in the harsh and subhuman conditions inside the prison camps.

The United States and the Philippines have built memorial sites to remember those days of valor that the brave men that have fought the war against Imperial Japan have shown. The Philippine government has erected a giant cross at Mt. Samat in Bataan to serve as a memorial monument for the heroes of Bataan.

I do not know if any compensation for the surviving World War II veterans is enough to heal the horror that the memory of war has brought on them. I just hope that these things will never happen again. 

You can read a Survivor’s account of the Death March at the site below:

Images above courtesy of:


  1. i'm lucky for not experiencing this tragedy. these brave filipinos truly deserves a tribute.

  2. yes, I agree. My dad had been in military service so one way or another I could feel the sentiments of soldiers...


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