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Bataan Day

Today we celebrate Bataan Day or Araw ng Kagitingan. But it has been so completely overshadowed by John Paul II's funeral that the following seem more like afterthoughts:

If you would like to know more about this day in Philippine history, please check out the following websites, which I have taken the liberty of arranging chronologically:
8 December 1941. Within a few hours of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese also attacked Clark Field in the Philippines. "The Fall of the Philippines," by John Vader, tells the story from the first attack to the fall of Bataan through text, maps, photos and posters.

9 April 1942. To understand why the defenders of Bataan decided to surrender to the Japanese, see "Surrender," chapter 26 of The Fall of the Philippines by Louis Morton (this document is available in its entirety at HyperWar: A HyperText History of the Second World War).

10 April 1942. On the following day, those who surrendered are forced to walk 65 miles. Those who survived would later be transferred to a concentration camp in Cabanatuan. "The Bataan Death March," by Richard A. Long, tells the story through text, photos and drawings. The Bataan Death March: A Collaborative Web Site is a more comprehensive collection of resources on the event.

6 May 1942. Those who did not surrender retreated to Corregidor Island. Corregidor - Then and Now is a collection of resources for history buffs. Corregidor: A Memorial for the Courage, Sacrifice and Heroism of Its Defenders serves as a virtual guide to the tourist attraction that Corregidor has now become.

20 October 1944. MacArthur returns to the Philippines as promised.

30 January 1945. The remaining POWs in Cabanatuan are rescued. "Bataan Rescue," a PBS documentary, provides information on the film and other resources. The Great Raid—a film produced by Miramax based on the book by William Breuer (although it seems that Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides was also used as a basis for the film)—is scheduled for release in December 2005.

6 August 1945. The first atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima.

2 September 1945. The Japanese in the Philippines surrender.

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