Bataan Death March 75th year rites set in SF Presidio April 8
SAN FRANCISCO – San Franciscans will mark the 75th Anniversary of the Bataan Death March on Saturday, April 8, at the Presidio Officers’ Club at 50 Moraga Avenue to honor the thousands of Filipino and American soldiers who perished during that tragic moment in history.
The Bataan Legacy Historical Society, in partnership with the Presidio Trust, the National Park Service, American Battle Monuments Commission and Fil-Am Racing, is hosting the event.
It starts at 8:30 a.m. with the Bataan Legacy 7.5K Valor Run, which will wind through the scenic Presidio trail system.
At 9 a.m. memorial wreaths will be placed at the American Battle Monuments Commission WWII West Coast Memorial.
At 10 a.m., the Commemorative Program will start with a parade on the Presidio Grounds by Bay Area High School ROTC cadets led by Master Sergeant Stanley Kamiya of the 91st Division. They will proceed to Moraga Hall of the Presidio Officers’ Club where the rest of the program will take place.
Veterans of the Battle of Bataan as well as WWII in the Philippines will be honored during the ceremony. Major Generals (Ret.) Eldon Regua and Antonio Taguba, Filipino Americans whose father and uncle respectively fought in Bataan, are among the speakers.
The Bataan Death March is a seminal event in WWII history that took place in the Philippines starting on April 9, 1942. Some 75,000 Filipino and American troops of the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), mostly suffering from major disease and starvation, were forced to surrender to the Imperial Japanese Army.
They were force marched approximately 60 miles to their prison camp at Camp O’Donnell under extreme tropical conditions with no provisions for food, water, shelter or medicine. Those who could no longer go on were beaten, bayoneted, shot and some were even beheaded by their Japanese captors.
Approximately 10,000 Filipino and 650 American soldiers died during the march. They had fought in the Bataan Peninsula for 99 days without any reinforcement or air support, yetthey were able to disrupt the 50-day timetable of the Imperial Japanese Army before their surrender. This delay prevented Japan from reaching Australia.
Bataan Legacy Historical Society worked successfully with the California Department of Education to include the Bataan Death March and WWII in the Philippines in the U.S. history curriculum framework for Grade 11. It is now starting the next phase to help enable its implementation by creating sample lesson plans.
To register for the Bataan Legacy Valor Run, go to www.filamracing.com. Proceeds from the run will benefit Bataan Legacy Historical Society and the Congressional Gold Medal for the WWII Filipino Veterans.
To RSVP for the commemorative program, go to http://bit.ly/BDMCommemoration. For more information about the commemorative program, contact (510) 520-8540 or firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.bataanlegacy.org. For more information about the Valor Run, contact (973) 713-8053 or email@example.com. #BataanLegacy, #Filamracing, #ValorRun.
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