The heart-wrenching sacrifice of the brave and the fallen are revered at the Petagas War Memorial.
In 1944, just 3 days before the Chinese New Year Eve, villagers of Petagas was awaken by the distant firing of machine gun in a silent morning. In the next 3 days, they still heard cries and groans. They knew something went very wrong but nobody dared to check it out. 176 Kinabalu Guerrillas members were massacred by Japanese army, making 21 Jan 1944 the bloodiest day in Sabah history.
However, these fallen heroes are not forgotten even after more than half a century. 9 KM from Kota Kinabalu city and in front of Kota Kinabalu International Airport terminal 1, a Petagas War Memorial Garden was built on the mass execution site to honour those who defended Sabah during World War II. Beautiful plaques are inscribed with the names of those who died, with well-kept lawns surrounding the area. Every year, a memorial service is held here on January 21st to commemorate those who fought and fell during the war.