U.S. House unanimously approves bill to recognize Filipino WWII veterans

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The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Wednesday a bill to recognize Filipino soldiers who fought under U.S. command during World War II.

The Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act (S.1555) was sponsored by Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the bill in July, which means it now heads to the president’s desk.

“For months, we have said that time is running out to recognize Filipino World War II veterans for their brave service,” said Hirono. “Today’s House passage is the culmination of decades of work by these veterans and their families to recognize their key role in the Allied victory, and their decades-long fight for benefits.”

“Today, the United States Congress took an historic step forward in honoring the more than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers that served our country during World War II,” said Representative Gabbard. “Our Filipino WWII veterans have waited decades for this recognition alongside units like the Tuskegee Airmen and Hawaii’s own 442nd/100th Infantry Battalion with the Congressional Gold Medal—our nation’s highest civilian honor. With just 18,000 of these Filipino World War II veterans still alive today, we cannot afford to wait any longer. I urge the President to sign this bill into law before the year’s end, and honor our veterans with this long-overdue recognition.”

The Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act would award the medal collectively to the more than 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 Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor conferred by the U.S. Congress.

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