Filipino WWII vets honored for ‘incredible valor, sacrifice’


Members of Congress on Wednesday presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino veterans of World War II, honoring thousands of men who long fought for recognition of their service.

Some Filipino servicemen died during the second World War, but promises of U.S. citizenship and veterans benefits for many of those who survived went unfulfilled for decades.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaking at Wednesday’s ceremony, said the recognition was “long, long overdue.”

“Everyone knows about Pearl Harbor,” he said. “But perhaps lesser known is that within hours, Japanese forces also invaded the Philippines.”

In July 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order calling on all Philippine military forces to join the U.S. armed forces to fight Axis powers in World War II. At the time, the Philippines was under U.S. rule.

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