Bataan Day commemorates those who lost their lives defending the peninsula of Bataan (in the Philippines) against the Japanese in 1941 – 42 and those who subsequently died on the “Bataan Death March”. Also called “Day of Valor”. Celebrated on April 9th, each year.
Bataan Day or Day of Valor (called Araw ng Kagitingan in native Filipino) is celebrated in honor of the American and Filipino troops who defended the Bataan peninsula in the Philippines against the Japanese during World War II. It is a day of remembrance marked by official speeches centered on the themes of honor and freedom. Large groups of Filipinos also re-walk parts of the route of the infamous “Bataan Death March” that was endured by American and Filipino soldiers following their capture by the Japanese. The battleground of Bataan is a national shrine.
In the early part of World War II, from December 1941 to January 1942, a combined army of U.S. and Filipino troops were entrenched on the Bataan peninsula in the Philippines, where they desperately defended their position against Japanese troops without naval and air support. Their efforts helped slow the Japanese conquest, but starvation and disease weakened their defense, and the Japanese finally overcame them on April 9, 1942. They were captured and thousands died when they were forced on the infamous “Bataan Death March” to a Japanese prison camp in Cabanatuan.