The NU Student Veterans Council (NUSVC) had the honor of representing Norwich in the 22nd Bataan Memorial Death March, a challenging footrace dedicated each year to the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during the Japanese invasion in World War II.

Among the more than 6,000 participants were four Norwich students who traveled to New Mexico to the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range, to pay homage to the Norwich alumni who either died or were imprisoned by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor and Bataan in World War II.

Herman Vanderwart, vice-president elect of the NUSVC, described the 26.2-mile march as “an invigorating, humbling, and grueling event” that put Norwich in a light that was more than simply noticed.

Vanderwart said that in addition to the students who marched, Norwich alumni were also well represented.

“There were NU grads from all kinds of levels there: nursing, MCV graduates, even a scoutmaster from the class of ’77 who led his Boy Scouts on the march.”

Vanderwart gratefully acknowledged the financial and material support the NUSVC was afforded by various departments on campus that made its participation possible, including the Administration, the Bookstore, the Uniform Shop (for creating a specially made NU guidon), the Veterans Affairs Office, the Communications Department (for video and still photography equipment), and the staff of the Krietzberg Library Archives, as well as various student clubs who provided moral support and other assistance.

“We all were so very proud to have arranged for and participated in this event, and are planning on making it an annual NU event,” Vanderwart said.
– D.L.W.

Alumni interested in participating in next year’s march may register online at in November.

For a video of the death march, visit


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