Remember the sacrifices. Run for our veterans.
This year marks the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Bataan Death March. The Philippine Veterans Bank once again revisits history to honor and celebrate the sacrifices of our fallen soldiers. As Nilo Cruz, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Philippine Veterans Bank puts it, “We don’t celebrate defeat, but we celebrate the value that Bataan Death March represents: patriotism, courage, and integrity”. It wants to be remembered as an act of heroism and love of country.
In lieu of the 75th anniversary of Bataan Death March, the Philippines Veterans Bank and its partner organizations, invite everyone to join the Bataan Freedom Run and Freedom Trail. Freedom Run will feature a 42-kilometer, 21-kilometer, 10-kilometer, 5-kilometer, and 1-kilometer courses for running enthusiasts. Meanwhile, the Freedom Trail features a punishing 160-kilometer marathon run and bike run for individual and team relay categories. On the other hand, ‘Padyak para sa Kagitingan’ is a new activity involving a non-competitive and historical bike tour accompanied by phase groups, recounting a historical event at each marker. Both activities will traverse the route of Bataan Death March starting at Kilometer Zero in Mariveles Bataan. All proceeds of the run will go through the preservation of each marker.
The move of The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to officially include the activities of Bataan Freedom Run as part of the observance of the Veterans Day is a manifestation that our fallen comrades are not forgotten, a symbol of deep gratitude. It is because of their sacrifices, that succeeding generations of Filipinos enjoy freedom and experience liberty today.
April 9, 1942 is considered one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. It was the beginning of a grueling 160 kilometer non-stop march, from Mariveles, Bataan to Camp O’ Donell in Capas Tarlac. It marked the surrender of U.S Safe of Bataan Peninsula to the Japanese Imperial Army. Filipino and American soldiers and civilians, men and women, suffered the most brutal treatment given to soldiers in the history of WWII.
The commemoration of Bataan Freedom March is not about pointing fingers; ultimately, it’s all about instilling peace in our national consciousness. That peace is better than conquests or war.
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