Remembering the Bataan Death March (April 9, 2023)


Remembering the Bataan Death March
(April 9, 2023)

By Jerick Alegarbes

Bataan Peninsula, Philippines – U.S. Army National Guard and Filipino soldiers shown at the outset of the Bataan Death March. Allied forces were forced to surrender to the Japanese on April 9, 1942, the largest surrender in U.S. history.

In the face of adversity, we often find ourselves choosing between hope and despair. Our lives are dependent on our will to survive, no matter how hard the circumstances are. In the case of Filipinos during WWII, survival meant to fight and suffer under the oppressors.

On April 9, 1942, thousands of Filipino soldiers alongside their American counterparts marched along the Bataan fields and jungles after a grueling defeat from the Japanese. The aftermath of the siege left thousands more dead. In the span of 3 years, both U.S. and Filipino soldiers were put in confinement camps, suffered diseases and were brutally beaten. It wasn’t after the end of the war in 1945 when all the prisoners were freed. But the suffering they felt stayed with them long after that. It was recorded that a total of 75,000 soldiers participated in that march. 

FANHS-HTX participates in the Annual Death March Memorial at the White Sands Range in New Mexico.

As the remembrance of this day, a memorial is held at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, where thousands of people join and challenge themselves to march up to 26.2 miles. This event was first sponsored back in 1985. It is meant to educate the later generations of the pain and suffering that our ancestors once felt, and to show that they chose to live with hope, even if it means enduring harsh conditions and possible death from the hands of oppressors.

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Published by j_alegarbes

BBA Management Information Systems, University of Houston 2020 Guitarist/Composer, Paper Gliders Webmaster, FANHS-HTX

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