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Sunday, April 9, 2017:  The 75th anniversary of the Bataan Death March at the beginning of World War II.  Citizens gathered this day for a ceremony to mark the occasion at the Brainerd National Guard Armory. 

U.S. and Pilipino solders defending the Philippines from Japanese aggression fought valiantly, but ran out of food, medical supplies, and ammunition in 1942.  Surrender resulted in them being force marched over 60 miles without food or medical attention.  Over 500 Americans died before reaching a prison camp.  any more died there under inhumane conditions.
 

Soldiers from the 34th Tank Company from Brainerd were serving in the Philippines in 1941.  Of the original 64 officers and men in the Brainerd group, three were killed in action, 29 died as prisoners of war, and 29 survived captivity.  The names of those who died were read and dog tags for each one were hung on the gun barrel of an M3 Stewart Tank.  It is the same type of tank that was used by U.S. forces defending Bataan at the time. 
 
A salute to those who died.  The United States was unprepared for war back in 1941 and 1942. 
 
A solemn occasion.
 
A color guard from the Brainerd American Legion, the Brainerd VFW, and Crow Wing County Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans was there with a 21 gun rifle salute.
 
Then Taps were played by Matt Gilgenbach from the Brainerd VFW.  The haunting sound echoed across the area.
 
The tags are a grim reminder of those who lost their lives in the defense of freedom, 29 of them while prisoners of the Japanese.  It was all about honoring their sacrifice and keeping their memory alive.
 

Quote of the day:    I salute you.  Mark    <Back to Previous Story Ahead to next story >

Questions, Comments?  Email Mark Persons  teki@mwpersons.com

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page last edited 04/19/2017