Tuesday, July 23, 2024

160-km Freedom March Resumes to Honor Heroes and Commemorate History

160-km Freedom March Resumes to Honor Heroes and Commemorate History

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Descendants of our World War II Filipino and US veterans along with military personnel, representatives from the local and national government, diplomatic community, students, families, and more, will once again walk in the footsteps of our heroes at the Bataan Death March Commemmorative Walk to mark the 82nd anniversary of the Battle of Bataan.

Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB), in partnership with Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and the Department of National Defense (DND), will hold the annual Freedom March, a 160-kilometer commemorative walk for the heroes of WWII, this coming March 16 and 17, 2024.Freedom March will trace the actual historical route of the Death March, which will start in Mariveles, Bataan and will conclude in Capas, Tarlac.

The public is invited to join the solemn tribute which commemorates the valor and sacrifice of Filipino and American heroes of the Battle of Bataan during one of history’s most poignant chapters.

“The Freedom March isn’t just a journey over land; it’s a journey through time, honoring the undying spirit of those who walked before us,” Mike Villa-Real, PVB first vice president for marketing and communications, said.

“This year, as we walk, we don’t just tread on the ground; we walk alongside the echoes of bravery and resilience that resonate through our nation’s history.”

The Freedom March encapsulates the route taken by approximately 66,000 Filipino and 10,000 American POWs. It stretches from Mariveles and Saysain Point in Bagac town, Bataan province, to Camp O’Donnell in Capas town, Tarlac province.

This path, steeped in history, offers a tangible connection to the past, turning every step into a personal encounter with history. This act of remembrance reinforces the narratives of endurance and resilience that form the bedrock of our heritage.

According to Villa-Real, the 2024 Freedom March is designed to be a powerful educational experience, providing participants with an opportunity to connect deeply with history.

Unlike the original Death March’s grueling journey, the event features a symbolic 10-kilometer walk, making it accessible for more individuals who wish to participate in this act of remembrance.

Participants may opt to join certain segments of the walk that may start in a location nearest and most convenient for them.

The march symbolizes a united front in honoring the sacrifices made for our nation’s freedom. “Each step taken in the Freedom March is a step of gratitude, a step of understanding, and a step towards ensuring that the legacy of our heroes endures,” added Villa-Real.

The Freedom March extends an open invitation to everyone, a call to gather not just to walk but to immerse in the deep lessons of history. Interested participants may register at bit.ly/freedom-march-2024. Registration is free.

“As we march, we do more than remember; we pledge to carry the torch of their legacy forward, shining a light for future generations,” concludes Villa-Real.

For more information about the event, follow facebook.com/veteransbankmarch.