Bataan Commemoration Reflection by Sean Keogh

“I attended the Bataan Commemoration Event that happened on April 10th, 2015. The Veteran’s Equity Center held a vigil to remember those who were impacted by war. I think it was important because April 9th marked the 73rd anniversary of the Bataan Death March which was an event in World War II when the U.S. surrendered the Philippines to Japan leaving over 75,000 soldiers to march to Bataan. The vigil was a way for the seniors to remember those that were lost. I was assigned a number of tasks for the event. Before it even started me and another volunteer decorated the event room, pulled out chairs, and  read backgrounds on some of the seniors that provided life stories to the VEC. Some duties that I performed during the event was pull out chairs for seniors whenever they arrived and had trouble finding seats. I helped bring candles to seniors during the vigil. I worked in the kitchen where I and another volunteer prepared plates of chow mien and dumplings. Another set of volunteers poured water and took the plates of food and put them on treys.  As a group of volunteers we served the seniors food and water when it was time and they were hungry. During the whole commemoration I enjoyed meeting and speaking to some of the seniors. What I found funny was that I was familiar with a certain veterano by the name of Manong Palad and he showed up to the Bataan Commemoration. He had come with his daughter and I sat down and spoke to both of them. I had a lot of fun talking to them in English and a little bit of Tagalog. After the event was over and the seniors had left I and the rest of the volunteers cleared the event room of chairs, candles, decorations, and tables. It was a fun event and hope to do another one.”

Sean is an undergraduate student at San Francisco State University

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