99 American Idols from Janesville
There's no need to flip on the television to find true American Idols. While current pop culture has us in a frenzy to vote for our favorite Idols we were lucky to have 99 true American Idols from Janesville represent us in WWII. While hundreds from Janesville served in WWII, the Janesville 99 hold a very deserved spot in our city's history.
99 men from the 192nd Tank Battalion, Company A, endured unimaginable torture at the hands of the Japanese during the Bataan Death March. If they were out of line they were beaten. If they fell behind they were killed. There was nothing humane about the death march.
In the end a little more than 30 of the 99 returned home. Those that read my blog each Memorial Weekend know that I am related to three of those who returned - my Grandfather Forrest Knox, Great Uncle Henry Knox and Great Uncle Bill McAuliffe. Honoring the Janesville 99 is very personal.
I've had the privilege to serve on the Bataan Memorial Committee for four years and last year I was able to pay tribute to the 99 during our annual ceremony. Thanks to Local Vision for being there last year.
This year, the ceremony to honor the Janesville 99 will take place at the memorial on the corner of W. Milwaukee and Franklin (just west of Chase Bank) on Sunday, May 27 at 7:00 p.m. The featured speaker will be Senator Tim Cullen.
Thank you to all veterans. As your Sunday winds down and you find about 30 minutes please consider stopping down to pay respect to the Janesville 99.
Steve Knox was born, raised and landed back in Janesville. He encourages you to participate as he writes on Janesville and beyond as this Generation X guy supports his Janesville mission, global vision. Steve is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.