Wednesday, September 6, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews
The Maywood Bataan Day Organization recently released the details of its 75th annual Bataan Day commemoration, which is set to take place on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2:30 p.m., at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, located on Oak St. (between 1st and 3rd Avenues) in Maywood.
The annual ceremony, which always takes place on the second Sunday of September, commemorates what’s come to be known as the Bataan Death March, which began on April 6, 1942, when World War II’s Battle of Bataan in the Philippines had concluded.
The Japanese army forcibly marched over 60,000 Philippine and American soldiers roughly 70 miles to a transfer point, where they were loaded onto trains. An estimated 500 to 650 American soldiers died during the march, many having suffered extreme abuse.
Among the soldiers in the death march were men from the Company B of the 192nd Tank Battalion of the U.S. National Guard, which included 89 men from Maywood. The battalion was inducted into the federal army on Nov. 25, 1940. Only 43 of those Maywood residents returned from the war.
On the first Maywood Bataan Day commemoration 75 years ago, an estimated 30,000 people showed up along 5th Avenue on Sept. 11, 1942 to demonstrate their support of the war effort.
“Later, a larger parade would step off – this second parade lasted three hours and involved literally thousands of participants,” according to MBDO statement. “Bands, floats, celebrities and politicians all marched to show their support for Maywood – and for all the small towns, that had placed their loved ones in harm’s way to fight for freedom.”
This year, the MBDO has secured the 144th Ceremonial Band of the Illinois National Guard, under the direction of Sgt First Class Robert Reed to provide music for the event. MBDO Vice President Edwin Walker IV will be the master of ceremonies for the event.
“Keynote Speaker will be Major General Richard J. Hayes, Jr., Adjutant General of the State of Illinois,” according to the MBDO statement. “Major General Hayes is a repeat guest and his presence underscores the valued memories, that the men of Co. B, 192nd Tank Battalion continue to hold for members of the Illinois National Guard.”
To read the full MBDO statement, click here. VFP