WHEREAS, the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery (AA) comprised of many of New Mexico's own sons; and
WHEREAS, these units fought valiantly in the Pacific Theater of World War Two; and
WHEREAS, the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery unconditionally surrendered to the Japanese sixty years ago in the jungles of Bataan, a dignified yet hard decision to come to at the end of a grueling four month ordeal defending the Philippines at Bataan and on the small island fortress of Corregidor; and
WHEREAS, these brave soldiers did not surrender their will nor ideals they were fighting for; and
WHEREAS, those who surrendered were forced on a 65-mile trek — the infamous Bataan Death March — only to end up in equally horrendous prisoner of war camps, subject to intense labor and unbearable conditions; and
WHEREAS, the men of the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery, both those fallen and those liberated after the Japanese surrender, represent the finest of Americans: courageous, resourceful, cohesive, and hopeful; and
WHEREAS, the experiences of these soldiers should never be forgotten, rather, their memory, words and deeds ought to serve as an example to all citizens of the personal potential and service capabilities we have within ourselves.
NOW THEREFORE, I Martin J. Chavez, Mayor of the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico, do hereby proclaim April 2002 as