A group of nine Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment conducted a re-enactment of the 32nd Annual Bataan Death March Virtual Edition here in Grafenwoehr, Germany on April 17, 2021 to remember the Soldiers and civilians that were involuntarily forced to complete the deadly trek by the Japanese Army in 1942.
The re-enactment of the Bataan Death March was conducted virtually this year to honor the memory of the troops of the American and Filipino Prisoners of War that were forced to march from Mariveles, Bataan to Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac during World War II. Many of the POWs perished during the march due to the elements and Japanese abuse.
The participants of the re-enactment from 1-77 FAR, Falcons First, consisted of both officers and Non-Commissioned Officers who road marched 26.2 miles for eight hours across trails, city paths, and rolling hills around the city of Grafenwoehr. The Soldiers kept marching through wind, freezing rain and snow to honor those who completed the march 79 years ago.
1st Lt. Paul Shelton, 1-77 FAR assistant S-4, said, “I felt like this was a great opportunity to honor those soldiers who lost their lives, and even though the weather was bad, it was nothing compared to what they had to endure.”
Although the Soldiers were wet and tired when they finished the march, they all commented on how much it meant to them and that they enjoyed the comradery and team building that they gained.
As they were leaving everyone shouted their Battalion motto, “Falcons, En Garde!” to show their support to those who completed the Bataan Death March.