MULLINS, S.C. (WBTW) — Mullins native Maria D’Antoni has written a book detailing her memories of her father, a U.S. Army veteran who survived the Bataan Death March.
The march took the lives of thousands of Filipino and American soldiers during World War II.
The book is called “Seven Bowls of Rice,” a name that came from a $200 dollar check that D’Antoni’s father, Lt. Whitney Langlois, wrote. He wrote it on the back of a can label while imprisoned by the Japanese in the Bataan Peninsula. It served as communication to his family.
“I always knew that I had to write this story, D’Antoni said. “This was my God-given responsibility. “That’s how they found out he was alive.”
D’Antoni details the struggles her father went through in 1942 as a prisoner, when he and 75,000 Americans and Filipino’s were forced by Japanese soldiers to march 65 miles across the peninsula. Their only options were to march or die.
“Daddy was in charge of a Filipino Scout troop, and he loved the Filipino people, but they couldn’t give them food. They couldn’t do anything, and one of the reasons was is that the Japanese, they didn’t have the supplies for them,” D’Antoni said.
She also said that her parents’ love, faith and family values flow through the pages as well.
“This story needs to be told and not from the gory standpoint, but from the story that how important families are to each other, how important our faith is to our situation and how important it is that these men risked their lives and willingly risked their lives for our freedom,” D’Antoni said.
Check here for more information about the book.