This is a special week for Filipino World War II veterans celebrating Filipino American History Month. A few vets and survivors held a special ceremony, 75 years in the making for Filipino veterans in Sacramento.
13 veterans and 47 surviving families joined Sacfilvet for a special congressional medal of honor ceremony at the California state capitol building.
Some veterans proudly sharing their stories like 95-year-old major Alberto Acaya, who fought in both World War II and the Korean War.
The moment was marked with a series of high profile Filipinos like U.S. Major General and Fil-Vet advocate Antonio Taguba, who stressed that these ceremonies are a chance for the legacies of veterans to continue.
“We now have the opportunity and commitment to extend the word of the soldiers, stories to raise awareness of their lifelong quest for recognition — because this medal symbolizes thousands of personal stories.”
State Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye also spoke to the veterans. Her father was living in Hawaii as Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941.
“The 13 veterans that are here today we are in debt to your service, because you served and faced death on behalf of liberty for us, and for generations that you knew not. But you faced that early on as young men to ensure liberty for a country that hadn’t promised you anything and then when it did promise you, waited so many years, to deliver justice.”
The bronze replicas have been part of nationwide fundraising efforts, from the community.
Taguba is hoping that the efforts continue, so they can hold more ceremonies, giving these Filipino war heroes their long overdue recognition.