Due to a decision by the Village of Maywood to schedule a village festival on the same traditional weekend that Maywood Bataan Day was celebrated for more than 75 years, we have had to, unfortunately, temporarily cease our in-person memorial services. At this point, our attempts to reclaim that date for our memorial service have been unsuccessful.
The second Sunday in September was the date selected for the first Maywood Bataan Day in 1942. Until the pandemic lockdown, that was the date we marked the heroic immortal memory of the men who marched through the streets of Maywood to a waiting train and their date with destiny in the jungles of Bataan and Corregidor.
Unlike nearly all other memorials that used to mark the memories of WWII, Maywood Bataan Day continued to be a day of pride and honor in Maywood long after the return of the few survivors of the infamous Death March, the years of captivity as prisoners of war, and eventually slave labor in Japan. Maywood remembered their heroic sons as symbols of all that was exceptional about America. It was one of the last such memorial services and regularly drew crowds in the hundreds, including citizens, family members, officials, and celebrities.
Today, the WWII Stuart tank still stands at Veterans Park on the corner of 1st Ave. and Oak St. in Maywood. We thank the Village for their continued commitment to maintaining this sacred space in honor of these heroic men and look forward to a time when we can again gather to tell their story and keep our promise to them that we will keep their memory immortal.