As taps played in the background, scores of Asian American veterans and their families commemorated a sad day in world history at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, reports KITV
It was 71 years ago when 75,000 Filipino and American soldiers were forced to march 66 miles under brutal conditions in the Bataan Death March. Today they walked to remember that day.
“We mark this as a day of valor because so many Filipino and Filipino American troops sacrificed their lives.,” said Julius Torres, the Philippine Consulate General.
Military personnel in full dress uniform fired a 21 gun salute to mark this day when American and Filipinos surrendered to the Japanese army. They were given little food or water. 10,000 died walking to the prisoner of war camp 66 miles away.
“They did not yield their spirit. and their sacrifice was not in vain, said Lt. General Thomas Conant of the US Pacific Command.
Sen Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced bill today that would ensure Filipino soldiers who fought for the United States during WWII are provided full veterans benefits.
“The Filipino Veterans Fairness Act ensures that these brave soldiers are fully eligible for the veteran benefits that they deserve,” he said to KITV. You can watch the ceremony and see historical footage of the Bataan Death March on KITV.