To honor the memory and gallantry of the Filipino and American soldiers who fought in Bataan, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has declared April 9 as Bataan Day in Illinois, Chicago Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim said in a statement.
A Bataan Day in Chicago and in the Village of Skokie were also proclaimed by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel of Chicago and Mayor George Van Dusen of Skokie, Illinois, respectively, Herrera-Lim said.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan presided at the Bataan Day proclamations in the state, which were attended by some 200 government officials, World War II veterans and their relatives, as well as members of the Filipino community in Illinois.
In his remarks, Herrera-Lim told the guests that their presence in the “historic gathering” expressed an “enduring bond with the brave and gallant Filipino and American soldiers in Bataan.”
Madigan said honoring the heroism of the soldiers in Bataan showed that “we are forever grateful and indebted for their incredible sacrifice to ensure the triumph of liberty and democracy over tyranny and justice.
Veterans Sidney Adelson and Cleopatra Dulay-Pactol were also honored with the Philippine Liberation Medals (Philippine Independence Medal, Philippine Defense Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation Badge) and Certificates to World War II Veterans.
The Chicago-born Adelson, 94, fought in the Philippine Campaign from 1944 to 1945. His medal was received by his wife, Shirley Adelson, and daughter, Marla Cowan.
Pactol, 94, was a commissioned Philippine Army nurse assigned with the US Army Hospital. She was awarded the Bronze Star Medal from the US for “meritorious achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy in the Southwest Pacific area from December 8, 1941 to February 1945.
A native of Aringay, La Union, Pactol held the rank of 3rd lieutenant in the Army.
Among the estimated 200 guests were Filipino and American World War II veterans and their relatives, American Board Members of the Maywood Bataan Day organization, and Filipino American veterans of Post 509. Fe Zamora