The memorial honors more than 30,000 Filipino Soldiers and 2500 American Soldiers that lost their lives in a brutal march of about 70 miles to the Province of Bataan.
After a 3-month long battle in western Luzon in January to April 1942, the American and Philippine armies were without food, water and ammunition. General MacArthur had returned to Australia and turned control of the Philippines over to General Wainwright. His lead in the Luzon Forces was General Edward King. Without knowledge given to General Wainwright, General King surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Army. What ensued was a brutal and deadly march to a prison camp to the north in the Bataan province.
Part of the march included soldiers being placed in cattle cars for the last part of the trip. Cars that may hold 50 soldiers were loaded with 100 to 150 men. Many deaths occurred due to suffocation or even being trampled if they fell.
Even after arriving at the camp thousands more died. Of the estimated 72,000 men taken prisoner, upon liberation only 4000 were alive.
This is the scene as we entered the memorial. The 'no entry' is for automobiles, foot traffic is allowed here. There are actually 2 memorials in this area for the death march, this is the newest one.
This is a separate memorial for the Americans. 2500 names are engraved on the walls that form this remembrance.
This cross is a replica of one that was made and hidden in the prison camp. It's existence gave the prisoners hope. It was hidden from the guards. If it would have been discovered, many men would have been killed.
This is the main memorial that recognizes the Filipinos that were lost in this terrible event. Over 30,000 soldiers from the Philippine Army and Philippine Scouts were lost here.
The main structure rises over 200 ft and is made of black cement.
Etched in the surrounding wall of the tower are names of the Filipinos that lost their lives. There is really only one reason that these memorials stand in my opinion. The hope that these atrocities will never be repeated.
I have included a link in the next part of our blog of the death march. It would be something that children should not read.