Prior to World War II, older Filipinos wondered if the young had the true grit required of independence. The Japanese invasion and battle in Bataan proved without a doubt that they did. Victories as much as defeat characterized the siege at the end, of which only one in every four soldiers was still fighting at full strength. Yet the valor and suffering of Americans and Filipinos, the latter of which composed 85 percent of the forces in Bataan, earned glory at par with other heroic last stands like the ancient Greeks at Thermopylae. The agony of the Death March would help enshrine the principle of accountability for war crimes after the war.
Page Design: Ralph Bagares
Illustration: Rene Elevera
Editor: Manolo Quezon
Research: Ana Roa with Marielle Medina
Philippine Daily Inquirer Sunday