Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Not Bad for a 94-Year-Old Man

Bob Brewin describes an occasion for camaraderie and for honoring the Americans who suffered and died during the Bataan Death March:

White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
-- Benjamin Skardon, a Charleston, S.C., native and a 94-year-old survivor of the April, 1942, forced march of 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war, showed up here yesterday for the 22nd annual Bataan Memorial Death March. He walked nine of the route's 26.2 miles.

Skardon joined 15 other survivors of that epic struggle through the jungle, shaking the hands of the 6,050 participants at the finish line - an electric touch that spanned generations.

Participants included 90-year-old Harold Bergbower of Phoenix, who shook my hand, and 87-year-old Bataan survivor Glenn Frazier.

This year's Memorial March attracted individual and team participants from all 50 states and Canada, France, Denmark, Germany and the Philippines.

The winning team in the military heavy route -- 26.2 miles with a 35 pound pack -- was (naturally) an Army Ranger team from Ft. Benning, Ga., with a time of 5:08:17. John Felker, a West Point Cadet, won the military heavy individual title with a blistering time of 4:05:18....

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