“Remembering Bataan” – Thanks Anna Marie Lux!

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John Eyster
April 17, 2012

“Remembering Bataan” – Thanks Anna Marie Lux!

Whenever I see the logo for “Between the Lines” with Anna Marie Lux’s picture and by-line, I immediately read that article in the Janesville Gazette as TOP PRIORITY! TODAY that regular feature has greater significance for READERS in the Janesville area since ANNA MARIE’s feature is entitled, “Remembering Bataan: Website helps sustain memory of march from 70 years ago.” I urge YOU to read her column! (I am NOT allowed to give you a link – IF you are a Gazette subscriber, YOU have access online NOW on your E-edition… IF NOT, you can read it when you buy a P-edition.)

Having taught about the Janesville 99 and the “Bataan Death March” as part of the US History course at Parker HS for years, including having survivors share their testimonies with our students, I ALWAYS give IMMEDIATE attention to resources re. our JANESVILLE 99 and/or the BATAAN DEATH MARCH. I hope you do too!

Anna Marie opens the column with 2 specific examples of the experiences of our Janesville 99 on the Bataan Death March:

“Seventy years ago this month, Robert Stewart survived three falls on the brutal Bataan Death March by thinking about Christ on his way to Calvary.” (ROBERT STEWART was one of the survivors who shared with our PARKER US HISTORY students.)

“Another Rock County man, Herb Dumer, sucked a pebble to soothe his parched mouth as he tried to stave off constant thirst during the hottest month of the year in the Philippines.”

YOU will be enriched with information and perspective as you read the rest of ANNA MARIE LUX’s “Between the Lines” feature today! Do NOT miss it! You will gain needed information about our “Janesville 99” if you are not NOW aware of that special tie of JANESVILLE area with the start of World War II when they were sent to the American “commonwealth” (colony) – the Philippines fall 1941 to protect the American territory. They were there before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and then the Japanese attacked the US military base at Clark Field in the Philippines the next day (December 8, 1941) after delay by fog after the Pearl Harbor attack. There was NO REAL US SUPPORT en route as the US troops in the Philippines had been told.

NOW, ANNA MARIE LUX reminds us of the outstanding website which Proviso East High School, JIM OPOLONY started and maintains. Many persons who regularly participate in the MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY/OBSERVANCE at the Corn Exchange with the TANK COMPANY MONUMENT, including myself, have MET and TALKED WITH JIM OPOLONY. He has visited that event several times and shared information about the website. He was the featured speaker at the TANK COMPANY CEREMONY in 2010. SPECIAL GRATITUDE is due to Jim and his students for their very significant research and the website.

YOU can use this link to access the Proviso East High School website, “Bataan Commemorative Research Project.” I noted that the website was updated yesterday (April 16, 2012).

HEADS UP FOR MEMORIAL DAY 2012 – Anna Marie quotes Robert Stewart’s daughter, KATHY DURRANT talking about the upcoming 70th anniversary being planned by the Janesville 99 committee. Watch for more details as we prepare for Memorial Day weekend – May 26-27-28, 2012.

Many citizens of Janesville area are relatives or friends of the heroes of our JANESVILLE 99. Are YOU one of them? Do YOU have a memory to share?

We give thanks for the lives and service of the JANESVILLE 99! Will YOU make time on the MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND to commemorate their lives and service? I WILL.

Here we go…

Mr. E.

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