Capas National Shrine
|Capas National Shrine|
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|
|Total burials||30,000+ (around 25,000 Filipinos and 6,000 Americans)|
|Statistics source: Philippine Veterans Affairs Office|
The Capas National Shrine (Tagalog: Pambansang Dambana ng Capas) in Barangay Aranguren, Capas, Tarlac, Philippines was built by the Philippine government as a memorial to Allied soldiers who died at Camp O'Donnell at the end of the Bataan Death March during the Second World War.
The site, which was the former concentration camp, is a focus for commemorations on Araw ng Kagitingan (Valour Day), an annual observance held on 9 April—the anniversary of the surrender of US and Philippine forces to the Imperial Japan in 1942. There is also a memorial to the Czechs and some Slovaks who died fighting alongside the Filipinos and US soldiers.
The area where the Bataan Death March ended was proclaimed as "Capas National Shrine" by President Corazon Aquino on 7 December 1991. The shrine encompasses 54 hectares (130 acres) of parkland, 35 hectares (86 acres) of which have been planted with rows of trees to represent each of the dead.
On 9 April 2003, a 73-metre (240 ft) obelisk symbolizing peace and new memorial wall were unveiled on the grounds of the former internment camp. The obelisk is surrounded by a three-segmented, black marble wall engraved with the names of the Filipinos known to have died during the Death March. There are also statistics about the total numbers of prisoners and deaths, together with poems for peace.
Nearby, there are three smaller memorials to the countries whose nationals died at the camp: the Philippines, the United States, and the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia). A small museum and monument is also on the site, built by an American group called the "Battling Bastards of Bataan".
A few hundred meters from the Obelisk is a garden separated from the rest of the shrine by a creek that can be crossed via a hanging bridge. The relics of an old train and railings are also located in the shrine complex.
The Shrine will be a part of the New Clark City, according to the master plan.
- "Proclamation No. 842, s. 1991". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Archived from the original on 9 November 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- "Military Shrines Service". Philippine Veterans Affairs Office. 5 November 2004. Archived from the original on 5 November 2004. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- Villa, Benjie (9 April 2003). "Capas National Shrine now a pilgrimage site". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on 9 November 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- "World War II POWs to be honored in Capas, Tarlac". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. 8 April 2015. Archived from the original on 9 November 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- "Barangay Aranguren". Official Website of Municipality of Capas, Province of Tarlac. Archived from the original on 8 April 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- "Capas National Shrine – Official Website of Municipality of Capas, Province of Tarlac". www.capastarlac.gov.ph. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
- "The Capas National Shrine (Pambansang Dampaan ng Capas)" (PDF). Official Website of Municipality of Capas, Province of Tarlac. 9 November 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 November 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- "R.A. No. 8221: An Act to Develop the Capas National Shrine, Appropriating Funds Therefor, and for Other Purposes". The Corpus Juris. 9 October 1996. Archived from the original on 9 November 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- Navales, Reynaldo G. (14 September 2019). "Capas National Shrine trees to honor fallen soldiers". Sunstar. Archived from the original on 25 September 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
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