— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) November 30, 2016
Awesome and overdue news https://t.co/xg3VcjGjsM
— AsAmNews (@AsAmNews) November 30, 2016
By Ed Diokno
In the late afternoon of Wednesday, Nov. 30, the House passed H.R. 2737 that would award the Congressional Gold Medal for WWII Filipino veterans. The resolution now goes to the desk of President Obama where he is expected to sign it.
Earlier this summer, the Senate unanimously passed its version of the bill. Wednesday, the bill authored by Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, also passed the House of Representatives unanimously.
“This Veterans Day, I joined Domingo (Los Banos of Kauai) aboard the USS Missouri to recount how these veterans were instrumental to our victory in the Pacific, but had to fight for decades to receive the benefits they earned,” said said Sen. Hirono. “The unanimous support this bill earned in the Senate and the overwhelming backing it has in the House honors the sacrifice so many of these veterans made for our country.”
The two Hawaiian lawmakers introduced the Filipino Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act in 2015, and have worked together toward the bill’s final passage. Filipino veterans in their home state were critical in pushing the resolution along with General Antonio Taguba (Ret.), who lobbied on behalf of the veterans.
Minutes after the bill passed the final hurdle in the House, both Hirono and Gabbard announced the decision on their Twitter accounts.
The legislation acknowledges the more than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino American soldiers who responded to President Roosevelt’s call-to-duty and fought under the American flag against the Imperial Forces of Japan during World War II.
“For the hundreds of thousands of Filipino and Filipino American veterans who fought courageously for our country, we celebrate Congress’ passage of the Congressional Gold Medal Act and look forward to President Obama signing this legislation,” said National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) National Director Christopher Kang.The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the U.S Congress.