Supporters and advocates for World War II Filipino American veterans say its time to say thank you to the men who risked their lives for this country (photo of wreath laying ceremony at Bataan-Corregidor fountain in the WWII National Memorial in Washington DC on July 28, 2005. Photo by Eric Lachica)
ABS CBN reports a push is on to grant the veterans one of the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal.
“There has never been a formal declaration to recognize Filipino American soldiers for their sacrifice and loyal service during World War II,” said US Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba.
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) along with more than 50 sponsors, has introduced resolution 111 to make the award happen.
The resolution reads in part:
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued an order commissioning around 250,000 troops from the Philippines into active service for the United States during World War II.
These Filipino soldiers responded to President Roosevelt’s call-to-arms and later fought under the American flag during World War II.
After the Japanese invasion in December 1941, Filipino and American troops literally shared the same fate at Bataan, Corregidor, and theDeath March.
These troops had served under the expectation that they would be treated as United States military service members.
The Rescission Act of 1946 later passed, which stated that Filipino forces would not be deemed to have been active military.
Congress recognizes the courage and bravery of the Filipino and Filipino American servicemen and servicewomen who have fought alongside and in the United States Armed Forces.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate shall make appropriate arrangements for the award, on behalf of the Congress, of a single gold medal of appropriate design to the Filipino Veterans of World War II, collectively in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.
You can read about other efforts to recognize these veterans in ABS CBN.