ORANGEBURG, N.Y. -- The Battle of Bataan is now in the history books once again following the 75th-anniversary commemoration on Saturday in Orangeburg.
The commemoration, organized by New City resident Jerome Kleiman, along with Rockland County Executive Ed Day, the Philippine-American Cultural Foundation in partnership with Dominican College and local residents, offered a day full of events for residents and veterans to honor those who lost their lives during the battle and subsequent "death march."
The event began with a symbolic march from Tappan Zee High School to Return Home Park on Bataan Road in Orangeburg in which approximately 78,000 Filipino and American troops were forced to endure a 65-mile march to prison camps. Up to 10,000 troops died during and soon after the march.
A ceremony and entertainment followed at the Dominican College parking lot off Western Highway. The performers included Edward Simons, a 100-year-old violinist who accompanied President Harry Truman on his way to the Potsdam Conference to meet with Stalin and Churchill at the close of the war.
Also during the commemoration, WWII veterans in attendance were recognized and a memorial plaque at Return Home Park was unveiled.