SMITHS STATION, Ala. (WRBL) — More than 50 people braved the early-morning cold to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Bataan Death March.
The 10-mile ruck march was held in Smiths Station this morning. It remembers the thousands of soldiers marched to their death by their Japanese captors eight decades ago in the Philippine Islands.
The event was organized locally by Tim Frost, and it was designed to honor all veterans, especially the survivors. Frost wore dog tags with the names of the 12 men still living.
Ashley Adams was preparing to do a similar event in New Mexico when it was canceled. She drove from Kansas to walk 10 miles of Lee County roads.
“A lot of people don’t know about it and I think it needs to be brought to the forefront,” Adams said, “There is so much they endured that people don’t know about. It is a horrific event that they experienced along the march. The young people of today don’t know about it and the people of my generation didn’t even know about it. To bring it out and see what these guys went through and what they sacrificed for what we have today.”
More than 40 Smiths Station Junior ROTC students participated in the march.
It is the second year the march has been held.