Harmonson Law Firm - May 2019

MAY 2019

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YOUR GUIDE TO PERSONAL INJURY IN THE BORDERLAND

OBSERVATIONS FROM Bataan Memorial Death March

On March 17, 2019, thousands of men and women from all over the world converged on the Southern New Mexico desert and White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) for the Bataan Memorial Death March. The march commemorates the forcible transfer by the Japanese Imperial Army of 60,000–80,000 U.S. and Filipino prisoners of war. The transfer began on April 9, 1942, after the Battle of Bataan in the Philippines. The prisoners of war suffered unspeakable abuse and torture as they were forcibly marched over 60 miles to awaiting trains. Thousands were tortured and killed along the way by Japanese soldiers. The march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their very lives.

The fighting men and women of the United States Armed Forces are a formidable force. I was awed by the strength and stamina of these soldiers. Thousands of young men and women donned full military gear and made the 26.2- mile trek. I could barely lift the 35-pound packs these men and women carry, much less haul it over the brutal terrain of WSMR for 26.2 miles. My hat goes off to all the participants. After the race, my family headed to San Diego for a nice spring break getaway. We stayed on Coronado Island, a beautiful spot that is also home to a major Navy base. While we played on the beach and ate ice cream at the Hotel del Coronado, members of the Navy were out in the ocean and on the beaches conducting training exercises. The sight of the soldiers toiling away just steps from us vacationers put into perspective the sacrifices our troops make to protect our freedom. A heartfelt thank-you goes out to all military members and veterans. The memorial march was also a vivid reminder of the sacrifices the “greatest generation” made in the name of freedom, both at home and abroad. It was a special honor to witness survivors of the Bataan March present at the race. If it were not for the sacrifices of all people of the United States and the rest of the free world during WWII, we could very well be living under a Nazi Germany or Imperial Japanese flag here in the United States today. The entire world would be drastically different if the free world had not stood up to Hitler and the Imperial Japanese. The march was a reminder of the importance of the United States as a global force for democracy. We must continue to fight against tyranny and oppression around the globe.

I was lucky enough to participate for the second time this year, choosing the 14.2-mile march over the more rigorous 26.2-mile marathon. Here are some of my observations from the march.

“THE MARCHWAS A REMINDER OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE UNITED STATES AS A GLOBAL FORCE FOR DEMOCRACY.”

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