1,800 New Mexican national guardsmen who were sent to the Philippines in World War II, eventually forced to endure the Bataan Death March 75 years ago, were honored recently in New Mexico.
The 65-mile forced march up the Bataan Peninsula took the lives of thousands of Filipinos and hundreds of Americans.
The ceremonies in their honor were held all over New Mexico. Albuquerque had a showing of Filipino culture and a ceremony to remember the thousands that didn’t survive the trip to the Japanese prison camps.
The Bataan Memorial Foundation of New Mexico says that only 11 of the 980 New Mexican survivors of the march are still alive today. New Mexico’s 200th and 515th Coast Artillery were decimated during the war, KOAT reported.
All the young men in that age group from the town of Harales were lost, according to the foundation.
Currently serving soldiers in the US military attended the event in honor of their predecessors.