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3/25/2011 10:03:00 PM
Locals travel to New Mexico for annual Bataan Memorial Death March
Courtesy photo
A bronze statue depicts three World War II soldiers helping each other along a path of footprints left by real survivors of the 1942 Bataan Death March.
Courtesy photo
A bronze statue depicts three World War II soldiers helping each other along a path of footprints left by real survivors of the 1942 Bataan Death March.

A symbolic march in New Mexico that commemorates World War II's Bataan Death March will attract a number of Prescott-area residents this weekend, including several local officials.

The event will take place on Sunday at the White Sands Missile Range in the high-desert region outside of Las Cruces, N.M. This year marks the 22nd Annual Bataan Memorial Death March.

The memorial event, which attracts about 6,000 marchers each year, commemorates the 1942 march that thousands of American and Filipino troops were forced to take on the Bataan Peninsula after surrendering to the Japanese Army.

Hundreds reportedly died along the march through nearly 80 miles of scorching jungle heat. The Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico is held every year to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of those servicemen.

Among the local residents who will participate in the memorial march are: Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall, Yavapai County Supervisor Tom Thurman, former County Supervisor and businessman Bill Feldmeier, and Pat Kuykendall.

It will be the fifth year that the father-and-son team of Marlin and Pat Kuykendall will participate together in the march.

"It's not about winning, or even competing," Mayor Kuykendall said of the 15.2-mile course. "It is simply an extension of duty to our country in honoring fellow servicemen."

He added: "Sure it's quite a hike, but I feel better than ever, and it is my privilege to get out there and show that we never forget our troops and the incredible sacrifices they continue to make for us."

The Bataan Memorial Death March covers a rugged course through varying elevations of desert terrain.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, March 27, 2011
Article comment by: Just Wondering

you didnt print my comment, you printed my name but not the comment I made.........

Did the Mayor know that the VA just lost a SURVIVOR of the Bataan Death March? Did the Mayor even know that the VA had one of these Heros?
Just Wonderin.............

Posted: Sunday, March 27, 2011
Article comment by: Just Wonderin

I wonder if the Mayor knows that within the last couple weeks a Bataan Death March Survivor passed away at the VA Hospital.........just wonderin....

Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Article comment by: Sir Walter Scott

It's great to be patriotic and honor all servicemen who sacrificed to protect our freedom. I have a problem with the phrase used by our current Mayor in which he calls the GIs of the "Bataan Death March" his "fellow servicemen." How can you compare serving in the National Guard stateside to the terrible condtions these men experienced?

Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Article comment by: Curious how the Courier...

...can turn a timely and fairly interesting news article into a Republican political statement - actually a 'patriotic' campaign plug for the current mayor and his good buddies.


Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Article comment by: keen observer

The Bataan Death March was a dreadful event which should not be forgotten.
A bit surprised by the mayor's comment that the event "was not about winning or even competing." What? Winning what? Competing with whom? How would that enter his mind
I regret tht the article seems to have been inspired by the mayor as a means of publicizing himself prior to his reelection campaign. It detracts from the seriousness of the observance. I am about the mayor's age.
I saw Gen. Wainright, who replaced Gen. MacArthur in the Philippines when MacArthur
left for Australia, in a parade just after WWII.
He was a walking skeleton. The uncle of a close friend was part of the Bataan march. He survived but was marked by it for the rest of his life. He went on to become a drill instructor at Camp Pendleton and devoted himself to training Marines so that they could survive
another such death march. <
Some who participated in the march, and were later imprisoned by the Japanese, committed suicide later because they could not stand the thought that they had survived while their buddies had not. There are several well written histories about the march and those who were in it. It should be recalled with sadness and humility.

Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Article comment by: Eric A

On a side note, the correct pronunciation of Bataan is, phonetically, "bat-ta-ahn". It has been mispronouned as "buh-tan" all these years so I thought I would inform everyone. I lived in the Philippines for a few years and picked up a smattering of Tagalog along the way

Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Article comment by: Just Wondering

I didn't see anything in the article about it, and I thought it would be more important than shilling for the mayor, but...Is this event going to raise any money for veterans or veterans' organizations and current troops in harm's way, or is it just a social event? Poorly-written article.

Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Article comment by: Sayyes Towar

this story brought to by the Kuykendall for mayor campaign. Bataan to New Mexico. Okay, but no one can have an RV.

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