Honor Filipino veterans with Congressional Gold Medal | Inquirer Opinion

Honor Filipino veterans with Congressional Gold Medal

/ 12:02 AM June 06, 2014

My grandfather was a member of the Philippine Scouts who also fought during World War II.  He died in 2008 and was very happy to have served his country. In his last years, he was happy attending rites honoring war veterans.  He also enjoyed some important benefits due war veterans.

Families of war veterans are very glad that Filipino-American community leaders and veterans advocates have initiated a nationwide campaign to press the US Congress to issue a national proclamation awarding each Filipino World War II veteran with the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their wartime service to the United States. A bill to this effect has been filed in the US Congress by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) of Hawaii. The bill has 50 sponsors.

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Representative Hanabusa said the United States is indebted to veterans for their courage and bravery.  Meanwhile, retired US Army major general Antonio Taguba is spearheading the “Filipino-American World War II Soldiers Recognition Project.”  With this ongoing campaign and overwhelming support from Filipinos here and abroad, Congressional Gold Medals hanging in the homes of war veterans, living or deceased, would be very meaningful and priceless proof that Filipino soldiers then and now made great sacrifices for the cause of freedom.

The May 26 issues of major dailies carried a heartwarming photo of Aeta tribesman and war veteran Panroman Sanchez, side by side with no less than US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, at a recent Memorial Day ceremony at the American Cemetery in Taguig City. He is 108, still standing and still visibly manifesting the quality of a once-strong young man who fought in the war a long time ago.  The picture speaks volumes of Ambassador Goldberg’s deep respect for and appreciation of war veterans.

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—OMAR S. BELLOSILLO,

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TAGS: Antonio Taguba, Congressional Gold Medal, Filipino veterans, Filipino World War II, Philippine Scouts, war veterans, World War II
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