LANSING — State Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Burton) introduced House Bill 4570 today to rename a portion of I-69, between Center and Belsay Roads in the city of Burton, as the “Bataan and Corregidor Veterans Memorial Highway.”

“It is important that we acknowledge and honor the service of these brave men who endured the unthinkable while defending our country,” Rep. Sneller said. “We must never take for granted what it takes to preserve the freedom and ideals that make our country great, and with the dedication of this highway we can display our gratitude and ensure their sacrifices will not be forgotten.”

During World War II, the Japanese military bombed Pearl Harbor and the Philippine Islands simultaneously in December of 1941. The Philippine Islands were crucial to Japan’s success going forward in the war, and it was there that the Battles of Bataan and Corregidor were fought, resulting in an estimated 750,000 combined civilian and military deaths. Approximately 75,000 Americans and Filipinos were taken prisoner on Bataan and forced to make the now-infamous 70-mile Bataan Death March to prison camps.

The bill has received bipartisan support and is expected to be referred to the House Committee on Transportation.