ORANGEBURG, N.Y. -- Rockland County Executive Ed Day met Monday with organizers of the upcoming Commemoration of the Battle of Bataan to highlight the events scheduled for Saturday, April 8 in Orangeburg.
"Rockland has always been proud to take its place in history," he said as he joined commemoration organizers at the Bataan Road flagpole in Orangeburg. "We will do that again this weekend when we host the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Bataan and the Bataan Death March."
The day-long commemoration will begin at 1 p.m. with a symbolic march in memory of April 9, 1942 Bataan Death march, 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.
The Battle of Bataan and the Bataan Death March were key events in World War II.
"Many people in Rockland County served in that war and, sadly, many lost their lives," the County Executive said. "The story of what happened in the Philippines during that battle has, to some extent, been overlooked."
The day-long event in Orangeburg, near the site of Camp Shanks where many troops from Rockland and other areas departed for war, will focus on the events in the Philippines during World War II. The commemoration was organized by New City resident Jerome Kleiman and involves other Rockland County residents.
Members of the 31st Infantry Regiment from Fort Drum, N.Y, a unit that fought at Bataan, will attend the commemoration along with many others, including the Philippine-American Cultural Foundation in partnership with Dominican College and the Filipino-American Triathlon Club.
Many veterans groups and Filipino-American civic groups will also participate. Tess De Vega, the Consul General of the Philippines in New York City, will be keynote speaker.
There will be live performances of music popular during the World War II era.
The ceremony will culminate with the unveiling of a new memorial plaque and the laying of a wreath beside the Bataan Road flagpole.
Following the ceremony there will be a symposium at Dominican College on the history of Bataan.
For more information, call Jerome Kleiman at 845-638-4222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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