Irmo High School JROTC cadets march for 24 hours to honor vetera - - Columbia, South Carolina

Irmo High School JROTC cadets march for 24 hours to honor veterans

(Source: Glenn Taylor) (Source: Glenn Taylor)

The Irmo High School JROTC honored military veterans in the annual Memorial Bataan Death March to raise funds for Honor Flight South Carolina.

The cadets marched a route around Irmo High School for 24 Hours through a track of luminaries honoring veterans.

The funds from the event and other fundraising events will be used to send World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial.

The Bataan Memorial Death March honors a special group of World War II heroes. The soldiers were responsible for the defense of the islands of Luzon, Corregidor and the harbor defense forts of the Philippines.

The conditions they encountered and the aftermath of the battle were unique.

They fought in a malaria-infested region, surviving on half or quarter rations with little or no medical help. They fought with outdated equipment and virtually no air power.

On April 9, 1942, tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were surrendered to Japanese forces. The Americans were Army, Army Air Corps, Navy and Marines. Among those seized were members of the 200th Coast Artillery, New Mexico National Guard.

They were marched for days in the scorching heat through the Philippine jungles. Thousands died. Those who survived faced the hardships of a prisoner of war camp. Others were wounded or killed when unmarked enemy ships transporting prisoners of war to Japan were sunk by U.S. air and naval forces.

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