Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Another Bataan Memorial Death March completed. SFA Chapter IX El Paso, and SFA Chapter VXXX of Las Cruces again supported this endeavor with participants and march support.
The Bataan Memorial Death March honors a special group of World War II heroes. These brave soldiers were responsible for the defense of the islands of Luzon, Corregidor and the harbor defense forts of the Philippines.
The conditions they encountered and the aftermath of the battle were unique. They fought in a malaria-infested region, surviving on half or quarter rations with little or no medical help. They fought with outdated equipment and virtually no air power.
On April 9, 1942, tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were surrendered to Japanese forces. The Americans were Army, Army Air Corps, Navy and Marines. Among those seized were members of the 200th Coast Artillery, New Mexico National Guard.
They were marched for days in the scorching heat through the Philippine jungles. Thousands died. Those who survived faced the hardships of a prisoner of war camp. Others were wounded or killed when unmarked enemy ships transporting prisoners of war to Japan were sunk by U.S. air and naval forces.
The Bataan Memorial Death March is a challenging march through the high desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range, conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health and, in many cases, their very lives.
The GREEN (full) route is the full 26.2-mile Bataan Memorial Death March. Awards are presented to the top two finishers in each category. Those marching the 26.2 miles will be able to experience, in part, what Soldiers endured during their long forced trek through the Philippines.
The BLUE (honorary) route is 14.2 miles in length. This shorter march is designed for participants who would like to memorialize Bataan but do not wish to march the full 26.2-mile route. There are NO awards given for this shorter march. Picture below right: Chapter IX Voce President Steve Franzoni and his wife, Monica, after completing the Blue route:
If you are interested in participating for supporting the 2016 Bataan Memorial Death March, keep checking the website for registration info.