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(NECN/KAAB: San Antonio, Texas) - Bataan Death March veterans heard the words they have waited almost a lifetime to hear in Texas on Saturday. The Ambassador to Japan, Ichiro Fujisaki, on behalf of his country, apologized for the treatment of prisoners of war during World War II and also to all of those who were killed. "I would like to express my deepest condolences to all those who have lost their lives in a war and after the war and their family members," Fujisaki said. "World War should not be repeated. Sufferings of many people, including prisoners of war, should not be repeated. Today, Japan and the United States are the closest friends." Saturday marked the 64th and final reunion for the surviving veterans of one of the war's most horrific events. One in four soldiers died during the march. Sixty-seven veterans were awarded commendations from Pentagon Army officials and were presented with a U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute. During the week-long march, prisoners suffered physical abuse and murder by the armed forces of the Empire of Japan. If anyone fell or was unable to continue in the tropical heat, it was like a death sentence. Prisoners of war, army nurses, and some civilians were beheaded, had their throats cut, and were beaten with rifle butts. The U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute Commendation was presented on behalf of the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army to thank veterans for their service, sacrifice, and dedication. <i>Material courtesy of KAAB.</i>