HomeFilipino AmericanFil Am veteran's family accept Congressional Gold Medal

Fil Am veteran’s family accept Congressional Gold Medal

Eight families of Filipino American WWII veterans this month accepted the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously on behalf of their loved one in recognition of their bravery, reported ABS-CBN.

It was the 105th awarding ceremony since 2016 when President Barack Obama signed the law that formerly recognized the 250,000 Filipinos who fought on behalf of the United States in the Philippines.

“As descendants of WWII veterans, we have a sacred duty, a moral obligation to ensure that their legacy will live on in future generations,” said Cecelia Gaerlan of the Bataan Legacy Historical Society to those gathered for the commemoration.

The ceremony at the San Franciso National Cemetery also commemorated the 82nd anniversary of the Bataan Death March, one of the biggest atrocities during the war.

Members of each branch of the armed forces along with the Philippine Consulate and members of the community came so that we will never forget.

“Today we are here to honor and remember the Americans and the Filipinos who marched in Bataan. We salute those who survived captivity. We salute those resilient service members who built their own internal hope step by step, mile by mile and day by day along the path of a 65-70 mile death march,” said Andrew Tiongson, commander of the Pacific Area and Defense Force West.

About 75,000 Filipino and American soldiers took the long trek. An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 of them died.

According to the Philippine Consulate of San Francisco, the commemorative event also recognized 18 Filipino war veterans interred at the cemetery.

Cynthia Bonta, mother of California Attorney General Rob Bonta rang the bell to honor all those who died during World War II. She herself survived the  the massacre of Los Baños, Laguna in February 1945.

Consul General Ferrer and Acting Mexican Consul General Vicente Sanchez Ventura laid a wreath on behalf of Filipino and American World War II veterans. 

The Memorial Squadron flew over the ceremony to cap the event.

“What transpired in Bataan was our most important triumph. Filipinos never lost hope and showed bravery and resilience under the most dire consequences. The enemy failed to break the indivisible spirit of the fighting Filipino,” said Ferrer.

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