WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Local World War II veteran and Bataan Death March survivor Eddie Graham celebrated his triple digit birthday with friends and family Saturday afternoon.
Graham was a part of the New Mexico National Guard when he was drafted during WWII. He was serving in the Phillipines when Pearl Harbor was struck. The Japanese army then led tens of thousands of US and Filipino soldiers on a 60 mile death march. Anyone who stepped out to help prisoners who were falling over or hurting, would be tortured or killed. Graham’s duty on the march was to bury the bodies of his fellow soldiers.
But today was not about sad memories, it was about celebrating Graham and his 100 years of life, despite all he has endured.
“It’s pretty special to me right now to celebrate my 100th birthday and I appreciate all the people that been here, very very much. It means to me a lot,” Graham said Saturday.
Graham enjoyed a birthday cake and luncheon donated by local companies and shared his merriment with Wichita mayor Jeff Longwell, a close family friend.
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