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The Capas National Shrine was built to honor the brave men and women who defied the might of the invaders at Bataan during the second world war. Standing at the location of the former internment camp is a 70-meter-high, black marble cladded obelisk hovering over the 54 hectares of parkland planted with rows of trees to represent each of the dead.
The location in Capas, Tarlac was where the infamous 97-kilometer march or well known as the “Bataan death march” ended, during world war II. And in 1991, it was proclaimed as "Capas National Shrine" by President Corazon Aquino, to honor the demised Allied soldiers, but it is also known as "Paggunita sa Capas." The obelisk and the memorial wall was added in 2003. Near the main shrine, there are three smaller memorials for the countries whose nationals died at the camp: the Philippines, the United States, and the Czech Republic. In the future, the shrine is also planned to be a part of New Clark City.
The shrine is a beautiful memorial, a testament to the strength and heroism of our countrymen and foreign soldiers. It is respectful to the history of the place and largely, our country’s history. The center of attraction in the whole shrine is the black obelisk, but it is not your basic four cornered obelisks, it is segmented into three posts that meet at the top. Surrounding the obelisk are three walls or the “Wall of Heroes Memorial” and engraved in these walls, are some of the names of identified Filipino soldiers who died during the march. Also in the area is a boxcar relic set up on rails, these were used to transport the soldiers from Pampanga to Tarlac. A small museum called Defenders’ Hall offers a selection of historical photos during the Japanese occupation. The remaining 35 hectares of land have been utilized for the reforestation of the shrine.