Aging Australian war veterans joined more than 500 people in a service Wednesday in Thailand to commemorate the thousands of World War II prisoners of war who died building a railway in grueling conditions under the Japanese army. The ceremony took place at Hellfire Pass near the town of Kanchanaburi. The name for the stretch of railway comes from a legend that a POW, while watching the emaciated figures digging through rock at night by firelight, said that the scene resembled the jaws of hell. "I get very tight in the stomach and choked up a bit when I just think of all the memories that I have when I come here," said Snow Fairclough, an 86-year-old Australian former POW who worked on the "Death Railway" for 10 months in 1943. More than 13,000 POWs and up to 80,000 Asian laborers died carving the route through mountains and jungles to connect Thailand with neighboring Burma.