Many Filipino WWII veterans may have passed, but their bravery will never be forgotten.
This was the sentiment of the veterans’ widows and children, as their loved ones received the congressional gold medal, one of the highest civilian awards in the United States at a ceremony in New York on Monday night.
“Finally the US Government acknowledged the bravery of our Filipino veterans, kahit walang sahod lumalaban sila in the name of patriotism,” said Edward Calub.
“Finally, the US government acknowledged the bravery of our Filipino veterans, even if they still don’t get pensions. They continue to fight (for benefits) in the name of patriotism.”
Retired Major General Antonio Taguba, chair of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project that lobbied Congress for the Congressional Gold Medal, said this would memorialize the sacrifices of more than 260,000 Filipino and Filipino American soldiers who served during World War II.
“We need to tell your lolo and your father’s and your mother’s story to the American public in the US. Our veterans are dying today, 15 a day. Once they all go away, you’re going to be their story tellers.”
These grandchildren of Filipino World War II veterans said they are inspired to know more about their grandfathers’ courageous acts.
“Nararamdaman ko yung hirap being on the war, but he did it for our country the Philippines and also for US and I’m so happy and I’m so honored hold this, to receive it for him,” said Willyn Lopez-Doherty.
“I felt the challenges he experienced during the war but he did it for country, the Philippines and also for the U.S.. I’m so happy and I’m so honored to hold this, to receive it for him.”
Taguba said the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project will continue to fundraise to recognize all Filipino WWII veterans with a congressional gold medal, and make sure their legacy lives on for generations to come.