The Design of the Bataan Memorial
The design of the Memorial seeks to honor the sacrifice of
the men of the 200th and the 515th Coast Artillery
Regiments. It evolved from close work with the Bataan-Corregidor
Memorial Foundation of New Mexico and specifically with the
veterans who served on this Board. In initial meetings,
veterans spoke of their war experiences and of their hopes
for a suitable memorial. From the words and ideas of the
veterans, alternative design studies were prepared and
presented. One design was unanimously embraced by the Board.
This concept was refined over the subsequent months by the
landscape architect working closely with Board members as
well as with City of Albuquerque, Summit Park Neighborhood
Association, and the State Historic Preservation Office
One event from the American experience in the Philippines
was a source of inspiration for the design. Following the
surrender of the American and Filipino troops [on Bataan, 9
April 1942], the Japanese military assembled the prisoners
and forced them to march across the Bataan peninsula to the
now infamous Camp O’Donnell. It is difficult to grasp the
indignity and the pain of the men who endured what came to
be known as the Bataan Death March. The Memorial’s granite
columns bear the names and the story of the men who served.
These columns allude to a line of men walking on a road. The
columns line the paths that enter the Memorial in a manner
that allows each of us to stand with these men.
The names of the men of the 200th and the 515th are engraved
in a pattern that symbolizes the ribs of a man as a reminder
of the basic essentials of existence many of the survivors
came to know through the years of captivity in prison and
forced labor camps.
The ramada represents the land of New Mexico and the
memory of home that must have helped sustain these men
during the march, and during their captivity.
From the shelter of the ramada we look out across the
harmonious form of an ellipse — a walk that links the
original stone memorial, the pole bearing the American flag,
and a series of paved stepping stones. The pattern of stone
delineates the island nation of the Philippines in
recognition of the shared experience of New Mexicans and
Filipinos. Across the way, one may still see the exuberant
energy of neighborhood children playing soccer on grassy
fields. We are reminded of our gratitude to these men for
their great sacrifice.
William S. Perkins, ASLA
“Memorial Tree” root systems; B.
Memorial Marker placed in the Park in
the 1960s; C. Existing “Memorial
Garden”; D. Pillars of Names (12); E.
Flag Pole; F. Ramada; G. Stone map of