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Minnesota National Guard
Soldiers and civilians pay tribute to Bataan

Soldiers and civilians marched and ran in the 2007 Bataan Memorial Death March May 19 in Brainerd, Minn

The march started at the historically significant Brainerd Army National Guard Armory The Brainerd-based Co A, 1st Battalion, 194th Armor is a unit that suffered a large number of casualties in the infamous Bataan Death March of 1942 Two survivors of the original Bataan Death March, Walt Straka and Ken Porwoll, were present to witness the memorial march that honors the sacrifice and hardships endured by them and their comrades

Some Soldiers and civilians competed in teams, and some raced individually around the course that traveled out along Highway 45 and all the way back to the Brainerd Armory Several Soldiers marched with all of their gear to incorporate good training and motivation for their fellow Soldiers into the march

Though the Bataan Memorial Death March has evolved into a competition, all the participants are well aware that the are running or marching to honor the sacrifice of all who endured fatal Death March of Bataan

The Bataan Death March was a war crime in which Japanese forces forcibly transferred prisoners of war, with wide-ranging abuse and high fatalities, in the Philippines in 1942 The march occurred after the three-month Battle of Bataan, which was part of the Battle of the Philippines during World War II

The Japanese had not counted on transporting such a large number of POWs At most, there were only four Japanese Soldiers to accompany a group of 300 prisoners However, in the march from Bataan to Camp O'Donnell, a low ratio prisoners escaped as many were executed and almost 75% were weak, because of being stricken with malaria

For more information about the Bataan Memorial Death March, visit wwwbataanmarchcom

By Cpl Joe Roos, Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
May 22, 2007

May 19, Soldiers and civilians pay tribute to Bataan photo gallery





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