Bataan Memorial March, Brainerd, MN
This an annual event normally held in September, starting and ending at the Brainerd National Guard Armory is at 1115 Wright Street in south Brainerd, MN.
It commemmorates the Bataan Death March in April 1942 when captured U.S. prisoners were forced to walk 60 miles in the Bataan Peninsula of the Philippines in World War Two. Some 64 Brainerd National Guardsmen were involved and only 32 survived to return home after the war. Also see Bataan ceremonies in March.
September 9, 2023: Registration started at 7 am.
The 8 am ceremony told of the brutal treatment of our servicemen by Japanese at Bataan in 1942. The invocation was by Carroll Janzen and the main speaker was LTC John Hobot. Brainerd VFW was one of the event sponsors.
The run started at 9 am
The run passed by the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds where well-wishers with flags were applauding the troops. There were aid stations along the way and many local residents cheering them on. At least one participant had foot blisters. There were seven categories of participation ranging from 5K to 13.1 miles. William Hinnenkamp was first in. He competed in the men's 13.1-mile event.
September 10, 2022: Hundreds assembled for a ceremony at the Brainerd National Guard Armory. They heard from the 194th AR Battalion Commander Lt. Colonel John Hobot who told the crowd of the sacrifices of the men back then. He presented an award to the family of Bataan survivor, Walt Straka, who died in the last year. The Brainerd Honor Guard was there to present the flag.
They were greeted people holding flags and applauding. Four rest stops along the way helped.
The POW-MIA group was there with a hot air balloon. Soldiers were thanked by civilians along the way. And, of course, there was plenty of talk about how it went when they were back at the armory for a meal.