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Museum of Broadcasting
Saturday September 9, 2017:  The annual Bataan Memorial March was held in Brainerd to commemorate the infamous Bataan Death March in 1942 at the beginning of World War II in the Philippines.  Some 78,000 people were were taken prisoner by the Japanese and were forced to march over 55 miles with no food or water.  Those who could not keep up were beaten, bayoneted or executed by their cruel Japanese captors..  More than 20,000 military and civilians died in the ordeal.  That included about 600 Americans. 
 

Ceremonies were held to a standing room only crowd at the National Guard Armory in Brainerd.
 

Honored that day was Walt Straka, the only living Brainerd survivor of the march, some 75 years ago.
Walt is the one seated with his walker.  His son Paul was standing behind.
 

Conversations outside as the walk was about to begin including an interview which was seen on television.
 

Mark was ready to go as were hundreds of other walkers.  Legion Riders were there to show their support.
Mark is a Vietnam veteran and walked only 5 miles that day, but what can you expect at age 70.
 

Then they were off on a 13.1 mile walk.
 

Youngsters along the way were holding flags.  Of the 64 soldiers who left Brainerd, only 29 survived captivity in Bataan.
 

Yes, they marched and marched carrying the colors.  The march slogan was, "Remember Bataan, Never Forget."
 

Along the way they received high-fives and thumbs up.
 

One lady was giving water while others applauded as marches went by.
 

Getting down toward the end of the 13.1 miles, still in high spirits.  The weather was about 70 degrees and sunny.
 

Then the first one came through the finish line about 2 hours and 15 minutes from the start.


Quote of the day:    A good day for a long walk.   Mark    < Back to previous story Ahead to next story >

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

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page last edited 09/16/2017