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Park ROTC unit salutes fallen veterans at Bataan Death March

Park%27s+ROTC+members+posed+by+the+U.S.+flag+after+the+26+mile+tribute
Park's ROTC members posed by the U.S. flag after the 26 mile tribute

Park's ROTC members posed by the U.S. flag after the 26 mile tribute

Park University ROTC

Park University ROTC

Park's ROTC members posed by the U.S. flag after the 26 mile tribute

Carin Bublitz, Reporter

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Imagine being led across a foreign land that you have been charged with protecting for 65 miles to the Japanese prisoner of war camps with no breaks and if you collapsed from exhaustion you were either killed or left for dead. That is how many American prisoners of war were treated during the Bataan Death March by the Japanese Army in the Philippines during World War II.

On March 25, 2018 the Park University ROTC went to White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. They set out on the Bataan Memorial Death March, a 26 mile tribute to the soldiers who died while on the original march during World War II. Each member chose a soldier who died on the march to pin to their ruck sacks and carry with them for the entirety of the march.

“I actually found on Facebook the memorial page for the guy I had. I actually got to talk to his family and sent pictures to them so they were really thankful for that,” said Carolyn Williams, sophomore nursing major.

Along with having a soldier on their ruck sacks during the march there were also survivors of the original march present at the memorial so both soldiers and civilians could pay their respects to them and their fallen brothers. One thing every member of the Park ROTC agreed on was that it was very humbling to see those soldiers at the memorial.

“It goes beyond just the academic sense of reading about it,” said Darnell Spence, healthcare management junior. “They try to make you live the experience. You can never truly duplicate what those soldiers went through, but you can at least take a smidgen of that and when you’re going through that desert and going through the aches it was kind of like living history.”

When the Park University ROTC got back to campus, they were exhausted with sunburns and blisters, but they were all very glad to have gone and participated in such a tribute to our veterans and fallen soldiers.

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Park ROTC unit salutes fallen veterans at Bataan Death March