Cadets from Robert Land Academy returned to New Mexico for the 26th Annual Bataan Memorial Death March. Four students and two staff took part in the 26.2 mile grueling march through the desert-like terrain of the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, USA, held March 22, 2015.
In 2008, Robert Land Academy was invited by the New Mexico National Guard to enter a team to participate in the Bataan Memorial Death March. This year marks the eight consecutive year that RLA has entered a team.
The Death March honours the many thousands of heroic United States service members who defended the islands of Luzon, Corregidor, and the harbour defence forts of the Philippines during World War II and who were later surrendered to Japanese forces in April 1942. During the Bataan Death March of World War Two, American POWs were marched for days in the scorching heat of the Philippine jungles. Thousands died, and those who survived faced hardships in Japanese POW camps.
This year, over 7,000 marchers and runners registered for the Death March, and organizers expect this number to continue to grow each year. Participants come from all 50 of the United States and over a dozen other countries, including Canada.
The RLA Cadets arrived in New Mexico a few days prior to the event to acclimatize to the 1,500 meter higher elevation, and to take in some of the local history and culture of the area.
For further information about the Bataan Memorial Death March and the history of Robert Land Academy's participation, click on the following link: Robert Land Academy - Bataan Death March