The long wait is finally over. The Memorial long
promised to the veterans of the New Mexico 200th
and 515th Coast Artillery units is fulfilled.
The timing is auspicious. This year is the 60th
anniversary of the now infamous Bataan Death
March where tens and thousands of Filipino and
American soldiers suffered untold atrocities in
the hands of the enemy. That many survived is a
testimony to the resilience of human beings and
the tenacity of their human spirit.
The completion of the Bataan Memorial is
likewise a testament to the perseverance of a
handful of New Mexico Bataan veterans who would
not allow the world to forget their contribution
to peace and freedom and deny them their place
in history. To some of the veterans, the
memorial may bring the final recognition that
they have been waiting for in a long time, to
complete the healing process. Stories that have
been suppressed may now be told and written for
the coming generations of New Mexicans to
The Memorial is also a tribute to my father,
Alejandro C. Alcántara, a WWII veteran and a
Bataan Death March survivor, and to all the
veterans who fought during WWII to keep the
Philippines and the Filipinos free.
I am humbled to be part of this historic moment.
I am honored to have facilitated the
construction of this Monument and helped fulfill
a long-awaited dream. It is fitting that a
Filipino immigrant would accomplish this task.
Now, the cycle is complete.
I am grateful to the members of the
Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Foundation for their
confidence in my ability to accomplish the task
expected of me. To Colleen Frenz, David Flores,
and Bill Perkins, I extend my greatest
appreciation for making my task easy and
Adélamar N. Alcántara, Ph.D.