Filipino WWII Veterans Awarded Congressional Gold Medal at U.S. Capitol
WASHINGTON, DC--Filipino World War II veterans were awarded with the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’ highest civilian honor, during a presentation ceremony in the U.S. Capitol. Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took part in the bipartisan, bicameral ceremony.
Rep. Gabbard said, “Our country is forever grateful for the service and sacrifice of the over 200,000 Filipino and Filipino American soldiers who bravely served our country during World War II heroes like Sixto Tabay, the last living Filipino World War II veteran on the island of Kauaʻi who I had the good fortune to meet with recently. People like him fought bravely and sacrificed greatly, and so many made the ultimate sacrifice alongside our American troops in that war, yet their service for decades has gone unrecognized by our country.”
Senator Hirono and Congresswoman Gabbard’s law, the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act (Public Law 114-265), was signed into law by President Barrack Obama and awarded the medal collectively to the over 260,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers who responded to President Roosevelt’s call-to-duty and fought under the American flag during World War II.
Rep. Gabbard added, “Because of legislation that we passed. These warriors are finally receiving the recognition they earned and deserve, joining the heroic ranks of the likes of the Tuskegee Airmen and Hawaii’s own 442nd/100th Infantry Battalion as we honored them in the U.S. Capitol with the Congressional Gold Medal Congress’s highest civilian honor.
“To Major General Antonio Taguba, the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project, and all of our World War II Filipino Veterans and their families who worked so hard and were so patient in making today a reality: Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.”