Letters to the Editor

Ceremony needs more newspaper coverage

In mid April, the annual Bataan Remembrance Day ceremony was held at Bataan Park at Sylvan Way and Olympus Drive in Bremerton. This event is to remember those weary Filipino and American service men who endured a brutal 70-mile “death march” after the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1942.

This was followed by more unspeakable brutality, starvation, and death in the concentration camp they were sent to. Mayor Patty Lent and several City Council members were in attendance. Lent has participated in this event every year during her two terms. She is a faithful supporter of our military community. Bremerton Councilwoman Leslie Daugs gave a wonderful and moving speech about this dark time in history. Her grandfather was a participant in the death march and a victim of the Japanese brutality. He did not survive.

There was a small announcement in a local paper the day before the event, but no coverage afterwards. In contrast and shortly before there was a front page article in the same local paper about the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial on Bainbridge Island. This memorial is to remember the relocation of Japanese Americans at the start of World War II to internment camps. Many feel it was wrong while others feel it was necessary with the raw emotions in play after the sneak attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor.

As the thousands of dead and wounded were brought home from overseas, innocent Japanese Americans might have rightly feared for their safety from a grieving and angry public wanting revenge. Interestingly enough, the relocation order was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, patron saint of the Democrat Party.

I just wish coverage of the Bataan Remembrance Day was given for the sake of those who died serving their country overseas.

William Rieger | Bremerton


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