On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S.1555, the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act, recognizing Filipino veterans who fought for the United States during World War II with a Congressional Gold Medal, our nation's highest civilian honor.
S.1555, sponsored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), honors more than 260,000 Filipino and Filipino American soldiers who fought under U.s. command during the second world war. The Senate passed this bill unanimously over the summer, and it will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, applauded the passage of the bill and called the recognition of Filipino veterans "long overdue."
"During World War II, more than 200,000 Filipino soldiers served bravely alongside American forces and played a critical role in ultimately helping the United States to achieve victory in the Pacific," Chu said. "We in CAPAC have made it a top priority to ensure that these Filipino World War II veterans receive the benefits and recognition that they deserve, and the passage of today's bill is a tremendous victory for our veterans and the broader Filipino American community."
"Today, the United States Congress took an historic step forward in honoring the more than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers that served our country during World War II," Rep. Gabbard said in a statement. "With just 18,000 of these Filipino World War II veterans still alive today, we cannot afford to wait any longer. I urge the President to sign this bill into law before the year's end, and honor our veterans with this long-overdue recognition."
"For months, we have said that time is running out to recognize Filipino World War II veterans for their brave service," said Senator Mazie K. Hirono (HI), who introduced the companion bill in the Senate. "Today's House passage is the culmination of decades of work by these veterans and their families to recognize their key role in the Allied victory, and their decades-long fight for benefits."
More here: House Passes Bill to Award Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino World War II Vets