Today is May 6 and it is the 72nd anniversary of the Fall of Corregidor when the Japanese conquered the island fortress of Corregidor. This Japanese victory cemented their conquest over Asia and the Pacific. To commemorate this day, I’ve decided to feature the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Bridge in Chicago, Illinois.
The Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Bridge is where the State Street, a major artery in the city, crosses the Chicago River. The current bridge is a deck truss bascule bridge which means that it splits in the middle and raises up at an angle to allow boats on the river to pass through. The bridge’s main span has a length of almost 75 meters while the whole structure is about 94 meters long and about 22 meters wide.
The bridge was completed and then opened on May 28, 1949 and was named the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Bridge in honor of the American soldiers from Illinois that fought in the Philippines. A plaque installed at the bridge reads:
To the memory of those gallant heroes from the Chicago area who were members of the besieged garrison of the Bataan Peninsula and at Corregidor, Philippine Islands, in World War II.
May the courage and fortitude displayed by this group in the face of adversity be a constant inspiration to our citizens.
On April 9, 1998, another plaque was installed by the Philippine Department of Tourism and it reads:
In commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Philippine Independence, and on the occasion of Bataan Day APRIL 9, 1998, this bridge has been re-dedicated by Mayor Richard M. Daley in honor of all the Filipino and American Veterans who fought side-by-side during the Heroic Fall of Bataan and Corregidor Island, Philippines in 1942.
If you want to learn more about the bridge, see technical details, or view more photos, then this web page at HistoricBridges.org is the most informative.