Walkers mark 80th anniversary of Bataan Death March
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This year’s Bataan Memorial Death March, normally held in White Sands, New Mexico, took place April 2 on a 14.2 mile route along the Mount Vernon Hiking and Biking Trail beside the Potomac River, starting and ending at The Marina on Daingerfield Island in Alexandria, Virginia.
On April 9, 1942 in the province of Bataan, Philippines, 76,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war were force-marched to camps 65 miles away during the early stages of World War II. This became known as the Bataan Death March.
Among the 80th anniversary commemoration participants were Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) led by its chairman, Major General (ret.) Tony Taguba, Regional Director and former US Consul General Sonny Busa. The Philippine Embassy contingent was led by Deputy Chief of Mission Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, Jr. US Undersecretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones graced the event.
Supporters who were unable to join the march gave generous donations by sponsoring a specific number of miles walked by the marchers. All donations will go to the FilVetREP, which raises awareness of the veterans’ heroism and advocates for national recognition of the wartime services of Filipino World War II veterans to the United States and the Philippines.
This year’s March was co-sponsored by FilVetREP, VFW Post 5471, Filipino Young Professionals (FYP-DC), NaFFAA Region 2, Bicol Association of Metro DC, Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of DC, and Philippine American Nurses Association of Metro DC (PNAMDC).