The Bataan Cross
Monday, 12th April 2010 by Kevin Batdorf
At the summit of Mt. Samat, Philippines, there is a shrine dedicated to the Filipino and American soldiers of WW2 who surrendered to the Japanese, and were forced to walk in what later became known as the Bataan Death March.
The shrine consists of an altar, esplanade, and a museum (which tells the story of the Battle of Bataan), but most strikingly, the 95 m (311 ft) tall Bataan Cross which commemorates the fallen soldiers is visible from miles around.
The Bataan Death March was a horrendous march of 75,000 prisoners of war across a 97 km (60 mile) stretch of land from the south of Bataan to prison camps in the north. During the journey thousands died from disease or starvation. Since then, the march has been classified as a crime of war, for which the Japanese government has accepted full responsibility and has apologised for their actions.
Every April 9, war veterans from around the Philippines gather under the pillar to remember the past, and celebrate the bravery of the soldiers who gave their lives for their country.