WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Philippine Embassy participated in the Bataan Memorial Death March held on April 2. The Embassy contingent, led by Deputy Chief of Mission Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, Jr., joined the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) led by its Chairman, Major General (ret.) Tony Taguba, Regional Director and Former U.S. Consul General Sonny Busa in honoring Filipino and American veterans alike.
The event was also graced by the U.S. Undersecretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones.
This year’s Memorial Death March marks the 80th anniversary of the horrific event, normally held in New Mexico, was organized with COVID-19 considerations and took place on a 14.2 mile route along the Mount Vernon Hiking and Biking Trail beside the Potomac River. The route started and ended at The Marina on Daingerfield Island in Alexandria, VA.
Other interested participants who were unable to join the march, likewise, participated in the cause through generous donations by sponsoring a specific number of miles walked by the marching team in remembering and celebrating those who were in the death march. All donations will go to the FilVetREP in support of its efforts to continue raising awareness and obtaining national recognition of the wartime services of Filipino World War II veterans to the United States and the Philippines.
This year’s March was co-sponsored by FilVetREP, VFW Post 5471, Filipino Young Professionals (FYP-DC), NaFFAA Region 2, Bicol Association of Metro DC, Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of DC, and Philippine American Nurses Association of Metro DC (PNAMDC).
On April 9, 1942 in the province of Bataan, Philippines, 76,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war were force-marched to camps 65 miles away during the early stages of World War II. This became known as the Bataan Death March. n