Postponed: Araw ng Kagitingan April 9

The Philippine Consulate General New York, in cooperation with the FECGP, Inc. will have a wreathe-laying ceremony this coming April 9, Saturday at the Bataan Death March Memorial, Cooper River Park, Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  The event was previously observed as “Bataan Day” is a national observance a in the Philippines which commemorates the fall of Bataan during World War II. It falls on April 9, although in 2009 it would have coincided with Maundy Thursday and its celebration for 2009 was moved to April 6.

Contact: FECGP President Ruth Luyun – 215.740.3499  VFW Post 1063 Senn Fontanilla 609.509.6800  and Purita Acosta 215.500.1868

Araw ng Kagitingan

Historical Background

At dawn on 9 April 1942, against the orders of


Gen. D. MacArthur

Generals Douglas MacArthur and Jonathan Wainwright, the commander of the Luzon Force, Bataan, Major General Edward P. King, Jr., surrendered more than 76,000 starving and disease-ridden soldiers (67,000 Filipinos, 1,000 Chinese Filipinos, and 11,796 Americans) to Japanese troops.

The majority of these prisoners of war had their belongings confiscated before being forced to endure the infamous 140-kilometre (87 mi) Bataan Death March to Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac. En route, thousands died from dehydration, heat prostration, untreated wounds, and wanton execution while walking in deep dust over vehicle-broken Macadam roads, and crammed into rail cars for transport to captivity.

The few who were lucky enough to travel by truck to San Fernando, Pampanga would still have to endure more than an additional 25 miles (40 km) of marching. Prisoners were beaten randomly and often denied promised food and water. Those who fell behind were usually executed or left to die, with the sides of the roads becoming littered with dead bodies and those moaning for help.



A Google Image: Steele

Only some 54,000 of the 76,000 prisoners reached their destination; the exact death toll is difficult to assess because thousands of captives were able to escape from their guards. Approximately 5,000-10,000 Filipino and 600-650 American prisoners-of-war died before they could reach Camp O’Donnell.


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