Hundreds more sign up for annual Bataan Memorial March

WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. (AP) – Organizers of the annual Bataan Memorial Death March in southern New Mexico say this year’s event could be the biggest on record given a flurry of registrations.

As of Monday, more than 4,150 people had signed up for the march. That represents 732 participants more than last year at the same time.

The memorial march is scheduled for March 25 in the rugged terrain surrounding White Sands Missile Range. It honors the World War II soldiers who suffered during the April 1942 march after thousands of American and Filipino service members surrendered to Japanese forces. Many died during the 80-mile march or became prisoners of war.

More than 7,200 people took part in last year’s event.

Marchers can compete in teams or as individuals. In the heavy division, each participant carries a 35-pound rucksack.