For Immediate Release
May 26, 2018
Contact: Jon Melegrito
Washington, D.C. “Memorial Day serves to remind us of the fallen heroes who died in service to our nation,” says Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret), FilVetREP Chairman. “We pause today to remember them with pride and profound gratitude. We also honor their families who lost their loved ones. To these brave men and women, ‘Duty to Country’ was worth dying for – to defend, preserve democracy and freedom for our country and its citizens.”
To ensure that their legacies live on, Taguba adds, we must “keep their memories alive and tell their stories of courageous acts and uncommon valor.”
On October 25, 2017, the U.S. Congress honored the Filipino World War II veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal, in recognition of their service under the American flag. The solemn ceremony demonstrated the nation’s deepest appreciation and debt of gratitude for their incredible sacrifice.
On that same day, 21 living veterans and more than 400 next-of-kin were awarded bronze replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal. In the last seven months, close to a thousand medals were presented to living veterans and next-of-kin at awarding ceremonies across the country. “We will continue to make these presentations until June next year to ensure that no veteran is left behind,” Taguba said. “To this end, we are calling on our supporters to help us raise the funds so that our veterans are able to receive the medal their service has more than paid for.”
To celebrate the lives of Filipino World War II veterans and preserve their stories for posterity, the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) is creating a national program in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, Department of Education, U.S. Army, colleges and universities, education and nonprofit organizations, and community organizations. The goal is to educate the public and raise public awareness of the Filipino and American Soldier experience and outstanding contributions during World War II.
The Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal will be the focal point and centerpiece of this program.
“Because of its historical and educational significance in U.S. history and culture, we are appealing for financial donations and support from the community and from corporations and foundations to make this undertaking possible,” says Taguba. “This program will be one of its kind and will be accessible to students in elementary, secondary, to higher education levels, academic professionals, and the general public, replete with a digital exhibit of historical artifacts and memorabilia displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History (NMAH).”
To donate, go to www.filvetrep.org.
The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP), is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, community-based, all-volunteer national initiative whose mission is to obtain national recognition of Filipino and American WW11 soldiers across the United States and the Philippines for their wartime service to the U.S. and the Philippines from July 26, 1941 to December 31, 1946. For more information about Filipino WWII veterans and how to get involved, visit our website at www.filvetrep.org or find us on Facebook or Twitter.