WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 14, 2017) — U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2) announced Thursday that Congress will honor Filipino World War II veterans with its highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, at a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 25.
The ceremony was possible with Hirono and Gabbard’s bill to honor the over 260,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers who fought in the Pacific Theater. The Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act (Public Law 114-265), was signed into law by President 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.
“The presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to our Filipino World War II veterans is the culmination of decades of work to honor these veterans for their service to our country,” Hirono said. “These veterans and their families overcame many challenges in their fight for compensation, family reunification, and verification of wartime service. I look forward to participating in the ceremony to provide this long overdue recognition next month.”
“The United States is indebted to the service, bravery, and perseverance of Filipino veterans of World War II. Their sacrifices were left untold in the United States for decades, as they fought for recognition by the country they served,” Gabbard said. “I am proud that we can correct the record today, and finally honor the service and sacrifice of these heroes and their families, and ensure they are never forgotten.”
The ceremony will take place on October 25 at 11:00 a.m. EST in Emancipation Hall and will be live-streamed on speaker.gov/live. Filipino World War II veterans and their families who are interested in participating in the ceremony and receiving a bronze replica medal should register through the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project at www.filvetrep.org/registry.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (WI-1), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will take part in the bipartisan, bicameral ceremony.