The following is a press release issued by the Maywood Bataan Day Organization:
As they have every year since 1942, the Village of Maywood and the Maywood Bataan Day Organization will mark Maywood Bataan Day on the Second Day in September. This year, the Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, September 8th at 3pm at Maywood Veteran Memorial Park at the corner of 1st and Oak Street in Maywood, IL.
Each year since 1942, friends, family and community leaders have gathered to pay tribute to the Maywood National Guardsmen, who served in the Philippines at the beginning of World War II. Most of these men did not return and the story of their tribulations has recently been documented on television specials and a movie, “The Great Raid”. Today, the Memorial Service has grown to encompass veterans from all Wars and includes active participation from the Filipino-American Community in Chicago in memory of the many thousands of Filipinos, who also lost their lives, defending the Philippines in WWII, shoulder to shoulder with Americans.
Master of Ceremonies will be MBDO Vice President, Edwin H. Walker IV. Colors will be presented by several area American Legion, VFW, and ROTC Color Guards. In past years color guard units from Maywood, Melrose Park, Berwyn, Hillside, Des Plaines, Chicago, Palatine, Elmhurst, Frankfort, Mokena, River Forest, LaGrange, Northlake and many other Chicago and suburban cities have participated.
A Rifle Squad Gun Salute will be provided by the Howard H. Rohde American Legion Post #888 in Northlake, Illinois. Preceding the service will be a concert by the US Navy Ceremonial Band from Great Lakes, Il, MU1 Garrett Stephan, Director, beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Keynote Speaker will be Captain Lionel Gonzalez, a member of the Illinois National Guard, and currently serving as the Battalion Adjutant for the 1-178th IN in Chicago, IL and fulltime as an ARNG Liaison to the 3rd ROTC Brigade in Great Lakes, IL.
The ceremonies will also include guest speakers: Philippine Consul General Leo M. Herra-Lim, Manong Jaime Pesongco, a Filipino-American WWII veteran will make a presentation and be presented with medals by the Philippine Consul General, as well as nurse and poet, Leticia Jimenez, who will read her poem describing her life in the Philippines during World War II. Other highlights of the Memorial Service include the WWII Reenactors (Philippines), the Monument Ceremony by the DuPage Chapter of VietNow Color Guard, and a Wreath Laying Ceremony, featuring members of all branches of our Armed Forces, as well as related community organizations.
Additional special guests scheduled to attend include Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins, members of the Village of Maywood Board of Trustees and other distinguished guests.
Col. Richard A. McMahon, Jr., President of the Maywood Bataan Day Organization, extends an invitation to the entire community, saying, “On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Maywood Bataan Day Annual Memorial Service, it is important to confirm our sacred vow to remember the heroes of the United States.
The Maywood Bataan Day Organization is dedicated to preserving the memory of Bataan Day and perpetuating the observance of Maywood’s Bataan Day on the second Sunday of September. Our modern mission includes supporting veterans of all wars and providing educational resources through our archives and our website (http://mbdo.org). The organization is a non-profit 501(c)(19) organization, that is supported by donations of time and money from the community, as well as relatives and friends of those who have served their country.
If you would like to schedule video interviews or additional photos of the service participants, or would like additional information on this ceremony or the Maywood Bataan Day Organization, please contact Edwin Walker at 708-345-7077.