Wednesday, April 9, 2008

On Bataan Day

Everyone talks about the searing hot temperature in the past few days. In Tacloban on Monday, the hottest was reported at a sizzling 38 degrees. Anyone hardy enough to brave the open heat at midday sun will feel torched literally, even for a few seconds. Try testing the sensation at noon, try going out in the open where the sun blasts down upon you at full force, try enduring the sweltering blast for a moment, then think of the prisoners of war in that infamous death march 66 years ago to this day. 90,000 of them sweltering in the infernal heat days upon days on end, marching 60 miles without food and water from Bataan to the prison camps of Luzon. Along the way, they were beaten and bayoneted when they fell down, and thousands later died from sheer exhaustion, malnutrition and disease. Today we pay tribute to our compatriots caught in the horrors of war, defending a homeland that is rightfully theirs, severely suffering and dying along the way. Sadly, Bataan day is commemorating a defeat, but it’s all about fighting a good fight.

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