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Bataan Memorial Death March returns after being canceled in 2020 but with a radically different look

KVIA file
Participants at a past Bataan Memorial March at WSMR.

WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, New Mexico – After being canceled last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the Borderland’s premier events is returning but with a radically different look.

This year’s Bataan Memorial Death March is going virtual, and sign-ups have already begun.

Participants will be able to march in their hometown or home installation. And just like in the past, they can select to do a 26.2 marathon or a 12.2 mile “honorary” march.

This year, marchers can select a day between April 9 and 18 to do their march. The march distance must be completed in a single day.

The Bataan Memorial Death March is more than just another footrace or endurance test. It commemorates tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers who were forced to march more than 60 miles through the Philippine jungles after surrendering to the Japanese in April 1942 during World War II.

Thousands died and those who survived faced unspeakable hardships as prisoners of war.

To remember these courageous soldiers, service members and civilian athletes from around the world have gathered for more than three decades to test themselves each year in the high desert of White Sands Missile Range.

The registration fee is $55 this year. Registered marchers will get an official T-shirt, commemorative dog tag, souvenir bib and participation medal, just like they would in years past.

The only other time the Bataan Memorial Death March was canceled was in 2003 because of the Iraq War.

You can register at

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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David Burge


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