Capas National Shrine

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Capas National Shrine
Philippines
The Obelisk at the Capas National Shrine.jpg
The "Obelisk" at the Capas National Shrine
For Filipino and American soldiers who died in Camp O'Donnell at the end of the Bataan Death March
Established 7 December 1991
Unveiled 9 April 2003
Location 15°20′56″N 120°32′43″E / 15.34891°N 120.545246°E / 15.34891; 120.545246Coordinates: 15°20′56″N 120°32′43″E / 15.34891°N 120.545246°E / 15.34891; 120.545246
near Capas
Total burials 30,000+
"This memorial is dedicated to the brave men and women who defied the might of the invaders at Bataan, Corregidor and other parts of the Philippines during World War II. Thousands died in battle, during the Death March, and while in captivity. Thousands more endured inhuman conditions at the prison camp in Capas, Tarlac. They suffered in the night so that their countrymen would wake to the dawn of freedom."
Statistics source: Philippine Veterans Affairs Office

The Capas National Shrine (Paggunita Sa Capas) in Barangay Navy Capas, Tarlac in The Philippines was built by the Philippine government as a memorial to the Filipino and American soldiers who died at Camp O'Donnell at the end of the Bataan Death March. This is significant site related to Veterans' Day in the Philippines (Araw ng Kagitingan), every 9 April, commemorates the surrender of the combined US and Philippine forces to the Japanese in 1942. There is also a memorial to the Czechs who fell here fighting alongside the Filipinos and US soldiers.

The area where the Bataan Death March ended was proclaimed by President Corazon Aquino as Capas National Shrine on 7 December 1991. The shrine encompasses 54 hectares of parkland, 35 hectares of which have been planted with rows of trees to represent each of the deceased.

On 9 April 2003, a new memorial wall and obelisk was unveiled. The 70-meter obelisk towers above the grounds of the former interment camp. The obelisk is surrounded by a three segment, black marble wall engraved with the names of the Filipinos known to have died during the Death march. There are statistics about the total numbers of prisoners and deaths, together with poems for peace.

Nearby there are three additional smaller memorials to the 3 countries whose nationals died here - the Philippines, USA and the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia).

There is also a small museum and mini monument built by an American group calling themselves the "Battling Bastards of Bataan", honoring the American dead of the period. A few hundred meters from the Obelisk is a garden separated from the rest of the shrine by a creek, it is passable with the means of a hanging bridge. The relics of an old train and railings are also present in the Shrine.

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