Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bataan's Dambana ng Kagitingan

Yesterday the country commemorated Araw ng Kagitingan.
Araw ng Kagitingan, memorialize  the fall of the Bataan peninsula during World War II after months of fighting between the Philippine and American armies against the invading Japanese. The united Philippine-US army, depleted of food, medicine and ammunition, was forced to surrender to the Japanese on 9th of April, 1942. The now prisoners of war consisted of 68,000 Filipinos and 11,796 Americans.
 The Japanese, unprepared for the large number of prisoners, decided to move them by foot from Bataan to another base located 140 kilometers (90 miles) away in San Fernando. On this forced trek, known as the Death March of Bataan, many prisoners died due to starvation, disease, dehydration and exhaustion on their way to San Fernando. Many prisoners were also murdered along the way. However, the prolonged defense of the Bataan peninsula hindered the Japanese army's progress, enabling the Filipino and US forces to prepare for subsequent battles and ultimately win the war against the Japanese. This gruesome period during the war is used as a reminder of the courage tenacity and willingness to sacrifice to the point of death by the Philippine and American forces. It also is a day to remember Filipinos who continue to fight for freedom on behalf of the Philippines.
During our last visit to Bagac, Bataan, we made sure to visit the site where it all happened.




 



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