HONOLULU (April 8, 2017) — U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2) and Kauaʻi Mayor Bernard Carvalho delivered remarks to honor Filipino and Filipino-American veterans in commemoration of the 75th Ara Ng Kagitingan — The Day of Valor on April 8 at the Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
“In 1942, over 60,000 Filipino and 15,000 American soldiers were surrendered to the Japanese in what we now know as the Fall of Bataan,” said Gabbard, a twice-deployed major with the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard. “Despite the unimaginable hardship that they endured, these brave men fought relentlessly against their enemies without any outside support from either the Philippines or the United States. In total, around 21,000 soldiers lost their lives.
“The legacy and sacrifice of these heroes must never be forgotten,” she said. “Nor can we forget the high cost of war and the lasting effects that inevitably define those who are touched by its reaches. Today, as we commemorate the Day of Valor, we honor all of our courageous warriors, as well as their families who have made tremendous sacrifices, and we give thanks for the great and lasting partnerships that were paved—truly—by these heroes.”
Today’s commemoration ceremony also celebrated the passage of landmark legislation, the Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015, which was introduced by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Mazie Hirono (HI-D) to honor Filipino Veterans of World War II, as well as the launch of the Filipino-American Veterans Parole Program.