By Associated Press
Military officials and a dwindling number of World War II veterans and survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March in the Philippines have marked its 75th anniversary with a 21-gun battery salute and a ceremony in San Francisco’s Presidio Officers’ Club.
In 1942, Japanese soldiers forced tens of thousands of U.S. and Filipino soldiers on a 65-mile (105-kilometer) trudge through hot jungle to a prison camp.
On a wet and windy Saturday, retired U.S. Major Gen. Antonio Taguba, Brig. Gen. Brently Whitely of the U.S. Army Reserves and Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto placed a flower wreath at the Presidio’s West Coast World War II Memorial while a ceremonial bugle played.
Some of the veterans who survived the death march attended an indoor ceremony at the Presidio’s Officers Club held later Saturday.
The event Saturday will also honor the mostly Filipino soldiers who held off Japanese forces in the Philippines for three months with little food or ammunition until they surrendered.
More than 250,000 Filipino soldiers served in World War II.