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CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL CONFERRED ON FILIPINO WORLD WAR II VETERANS – HOUSE

The House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 1411, expressing its appreciation, on behalf of the Filipino veterans of World War II, to the United States Congress for the enactment into law of the measures authorizing the conferment of the Congressional Gold Medal to the Filipino Veterans of World War II collectively in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.

The 114th U.S. Congress approved S 1555 and H.R. 2737, which seek to award the Congressional Gold Medal collectively to Filipino World War II veterans.

“Their enactment into law as Public Law 114-265 or the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act finally recognizes the efforts and sacrifices of the Filipino veterans in the war effort and restores their dignity and honor by awarding them with the highest expression of gratitude by the United States government,” the resolution stated.

Public Law No: 114-265 enacted on December 14, 2016 defines “Filipino Veterans of World War II” to include an individual who served: honorably at any time from July 26, 1941, to December 31, 1946; in an active-duty status under the command of the U.S. Armed Forces in the Far East; and within the Philippine Commonwealth Army, the Philippine Scouts, the Philippine Constabulary, Recognized Guerrilla units, the New Philippine Scouts, the First Filipino Infantry Regiment, the Second Filipino Infantry Battalion (Separate), or the First Reconnaissance Battalion; or commanding or serving in such a unit as a U.S. military officer or enlisted soldier.

“Filipino veterans of World War II served on the battlefield and fought courageously alongside American servicemen throughout the war, participated in guerilla resistance and suffered in prisoner camps, and endured brutal conditions,” the resolution stated.

With the passage of the Rescission Act on February 18, 1946 by the U.S. Congress, the Filipino soldiers were excluded from the benefits granted under the G.I. Bill of Rights, in contrast to the veterans of other nations who served under the command of the United States Army, the resolution cited.

For over 60 years after the passage of the Rescission Act of 1946, Filipino veterans have consistently pursued their battle to seek recognition and justice in the halls of the United States Congress, it further stated.

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