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Gilbert Lodge
Since 2004

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                  Gilbert Lodge Blog
         The life and times of Mark and Paula Persons
       Member of the
     Pavek Museum
Gilbert lake Association
Saturday, September 8, 2018:   
The annual Bataan Memorial Death March was held starting with ceremonies at the Brainerd National Guard Armory.
There was a flag ceremony with a Color Guard was from the Brainerd American Legion, VFW and DAV.
Speeches were given detailing how Americans fought bravely against a Japanese army on the Bataan peninsula of the Philippines at the beginning of WWII.  Finally, they ran out of ammunition, food and medical supplies.  They were then allowed to be captured to avoid more bloodshed.  The Japanese were extremely cruel forcing the prisoners to walk 60 miles to a prison camp without food or water.  More than 7000 Filipino and American soldiers were slaughtered along the way when they couldn't keep up.  Some 32 of the 64 men from Brainerd were killed on the walk.  Prayers were given for those who died and those who are serving their country today in the defense of freedom.   
The one remaining Bataan survivor from Brainerd is Walt Straka.  He was there accompanied by his daughter.
Then it was time to get ready for the 13 mile march.  Some runners did the route twice. 
Mark, in blue in the middle, was one of them.  The American Legion Riders were there to lead the march.
They were off at 9 am.  Mark was in the back of the pack.
Marchers were greeted by flags representing those who died on the march back in 1942.
Some were congratulated for serving their country in these tough times.
Down the road they went.  Some got a high-five from those passing by.
Two miles down the road, National Guard 194th flag was still in the lead.
There were aid stations every 2.5 miles or so for participants.
Another high-five!
A Sergeant First Class was wearing a uniform reminiscent of 1960s Vietnam while the one on the right is more recent.
One walker was wearing a Bataan T-shirt from last year and his Dalmatian dog was doing his best to lead the way.
Others held up signs of encouragement.

The final hundred feet was lined with flags welcoming the walkers and runners back.
The 194th came in followed by Mark a bit later, but in good spirits. 
Actually, Mark only covered six miles because he was aided by four-wheelers in his job as photographer. 

Quote of the day:     Now I can rest for a year before the next one.   Mark    < Back to previous story Ahead to next story >

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

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page last edited 09/12/2018