HomeChinese AmericanPhiladelphia Chinatown Ceremony Honors Chinese American WWII Veterans

Philadelphia Chinatown Ceremony Honors Chinese American WWII Veterans

By Shirley Ng, AsAmNews Staff Writer

Philadelphia’s Chinatown hosted their Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony for the Chinese American WWII veterans in the area to finally receive their Congressional Gold Medal, just in time for Veterans Day.


Paul Toy, one of the veterans that served in the army got up from his table with his walker and received his medal, surrounded by friends and family.


“He served two and half years in the Army and landed in Normandy just a couple days after D-Day,” wrote his son Andy Toy in an email.

Veteran Paul Toy of Philadelphia received his Congressional Gold Medal surrounded by his family. Photo by Shirley Ng

I was honored to have been invited to share this special day with the Toy Family. I shook Paul’s hand and said to him, “Congratulations. Thank you for defending our nation.”

It was December 2018 when the Congressional Gold Medal for the Chinese American WWII Veterans was signed into law and this moment has finally come for Philadelphia area WWII veterans.

The veterans that were able to attend the ceremony and receive the medal personally, it meant great joy to be recognized for their military service after all these years. Despite the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that prevented many Chinese from immigrating and becoming citizens, many of them still felt a sense of duty to serve the country despite the injustice.


Pearl Lee of New Jersey attended the ceremony with her sister who lives in the area. They came together to receive the medal for their father, George Jung.

Pearl Lee of Red Bank holds a photo of her father, WWII veteran George Jung. Photo by: Shirley L. Ng


Forty-nine veterans were receiving their medals for their courageous service at the ceremony. Many have already passed on, leaving just a few hundred surviving Chinese American WWII veterans left. At the ceremony, some families proudly displayed photos of the veteran on their table so that all may see. who is their hero in the family. 

Photo of WWII veteran C.K. Tom. Photo by: Shirley L. Ng
Photo of WWII veterans Mun Him Wong and Mun Pon Wong. Photo by: Shirley L. Ng
Photo of WWII veteran Yook Been Eng. Photo by: Shirley L. Ng

Seated at my table was Bruce Lee (yeah, that’s really his name). He attended the ceremony with a cousin to receive the Congressional Gold Medal for his father, George Lee. As we got acquainted he shared a photo of his great-great grandfather, William Moy of Philadelphia who served in the Civil War. Now that is super fascinating.

Bruce Lee attended the ceremony to receive the Congressional Gold Medal for his father, George Lee and also shares a photo of his great-great grandfather, William Moy that served in the Civil War. Photo by: Shirley L. Ng

The next Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for Chinese American WWII veterans will be held in Phoenix on November 14.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The next Congressional Gold Medal ceremonies will be on Saturday, November 13, in Los Angeles Chinatown and on Sunday, November 14, in Simi Valley, Ca to honor the many Chinese American WWII heroes who were from Southern California. What an incredible effort has been made by the many volunteers all over the USA whose goal has been to remember and honor this “greatest generation!” Many thanks to all!

  2. The Washington State Regional Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2021, at 1pm, at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA. Five Seattle area living veterans were honored in March in a virtual ceremony. Three of the living veterans: Gene Moy (age 104), William L. Chin (age 96), and Lip Mar (age 94) will participate in the medal presentation ceremony. Two living veterans Calvin Fung (age 97) and Abraham Goo (age 96) will view the event virtually. An additional 128 veterans will be honored. We are so grateful for this opportunity to show our appreciation to the greatest generation!

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