Bataan Death March survivor honored by Sedgwick County Commission

12/19/2012 9:49 AM

12/19/2012 9:50 AM

A survivor of the Bataan Death March was honored Wednesday by Sedgwick County commissioners, who proclaimed Eddie Graham Day.

Graham, 95, was a prisoner of war who survived the World War II death march. He is one of 61 such men still alive.

Wichita City Council member Jeff Longwell introduced Graham, who lives with Longwell’s sister, to commissioners.

The veteran told commissioners a few stories about the march, including how sparse food and water were and how prevalent death was. He recalled that four or five men died every day from starvation and illness.

He said that soldiers dug holes to bury their own “with no box or anything.” Bodies were piled on top of each other, he said.

Graham recalled one time when a buried soldier sat up in the trench. He wasn’t dead after all, Graham said.

Commissioners thanked Graham for his service, and the audience gave him a standing ovation.

He wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

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