Tuesday, April 09, 2019

National Former POW Recognition Day - April 9

There were two starting points for the Bataan Death March:
the west coast beach town of Bagac and the port town of Mariveles at the tip of Bataan.
The above picture is of the park at Mariveles.

Since 1988, with Public Law 100-269, Congress designated April 9th as "National Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

April 9, 2019 is also the 77th Anniversary of the fall of Bataan in the Philippines and the surrender of 78,000 American and Filipino troops to invading Japanese forces. It is the start of the infamous Bataan Death March on which as many as 12,000 died.

On the first permanent National Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day, April 9, 1988, President Ronald Reagan said:

“…It is truly fitting that America observe April 9 in recognition of our former prisoners of war; that date is the 46th anniversary of the day in 1942 when U.S. forces holding out on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines were captured. Later, as prisoners of war, these gallant Americans were subjected to the infamous Bataan Death March and to other inhumane treatment that killed thousands of them before they could be liberated. In every conflict, brutality has invariably been meted out to American prisoners of war; on April 9 and every day, we must remember with solemn pride and gratitude that valor and tenacity have ever been our prisoners’ response.”

Never Forget

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