Bataan Memorial March in Pennsylvania set for April 17
MURRYSVILLE, Pennsylvania – A memorial march on April 17 will honor the 76,000 American and Filipino soldiers who endured a 65-mile forced march in the Philippines as prisoners of the Japanese during World War II.
The Norwin Air Force Junior ROTC cadets are hosting the 14-mile Bataan Memorial March along the Westmoreland Heritage Trail between Trafford and Murrysville, according to the Murrysville Star.
Proceeds from the walk or run event will benefit Mission22, an Oregon-based nonprofit that helps veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, substance abuse and other issues.
Around 10,000 American soldiers and more than 60,000 Filipino troops surrendered to the Japanese at the Battle of Bataan in April 1942. The captured soldiers were forced to walk in what would become known as the Bataan Death March, which took five to 10 days to reach a POW camp. Thousands died on the march to Camp O’Donnell, and thousands more died there of starvation and disease.
The memorial entry fee is $25 for adults, which includes a T-shirt; and $20 for youth, ages 12 and younger, which also includes a T-shirt. Younger children can participate at no cost, but will not receive a shirt. Those interested in participating can preregister online or register the day of the event.
Registration and check-in starts at 8 a.m. at the B-Y Park in Trafford, with the turnaround point seven miles from the start. Participants are asked to follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines for wearing a mask and practicing social distancing while registering.
Entrants can walk or run as far they want, said Jennifer Kerrigan, one of the organizers with the Norwin Air Force Junior ROTC.
Those who want to register by mail, can email [email protected] for a registration form.
More information is available at the Air Force Junior ROTC Facebook page at fb.me/e/3b4fjsGK4.