Message from the Chairman
Congratulations to the Filipino Veterans of World War II – Filipinos, Americans, and Filipino- Americans who have waited 75 years for their time of recognition. They deservedly earned the Congressional Gold Medal for their loyalty to country and dedication to duty in defense of the United States and the Philippines.
We deeply appreciate the enduring support of the late Senator Daniel Inouye and the late Senator Daniel Akaka in championing the recognition of Filipino Veterans.
We are especially grateful to Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), and former Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV) who sponsored the initial legislative measures in both houses of Congress, S.1555 and HR 2737, respectively. Their efforts led to the passage of the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015, and the signing of Public Law 114-265 by President Barack Obama on December 14, 2016.
Many of us witnessed the event at the Emancipation Hall at Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. on October 25, 2017, when House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the Veterans and Families. We saw the look of pride as they reclaimed their honor and dignity from a grateful Nation that finally recognized them after 75 years.
Since that epic day, FilVetREP conducted over 50 ceremonies across the U.S. and in the Philippines, awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to hundreds of Living Veterans and to the families of deceased veterans. This once in a lifetime experience has brought together warriors and comrades who have not seen each other since World War II. Their families also cherished the unforgettable experience of seeing their fathers and mothers finally recognized.
We have now embarked on the second phase of our mission – To develop and launch a
national education program to educate the American public and raise national awareness on the outstanding achievements of the Filipino and American Soldiers who achieved a resounding and incredible success in defeating the Japanese Imperial Forces in defense of the United States in World War II.
It is imperative for FilVetREP and our entire community to jointly support and embrace this important initiative. We must not forget their battle for recognition, the injustice and discrimination they suffered, of being deprived of promised benefits, and for having lived a lifetime of adversity and indignation. We must tell their story before they all pass away. We must preserve their legacy for this generation and for the future. Their story and fight for recognition will be forever enshrined in American history.
We owe the Veterans an eternal debt of gratitude. We must accomplish this mission!