December 2, 2016 Ladies and Gentlemen, Yesterday at 5:29pm, Nov 30, 2016, we witnessed from the gallery in Capitol Hill, the passage by Act of Congress of the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015. Simply, this was a highly emotional and historic period in US history. This historic act by the United States Congress to recognize the gallantry, selfless sacrifice, and honorable service of the 260,000 Filipino soldiers – men and women – who served under the United States Forces Far East in defense of the United States and Philippines has been long awaited. It took nearly 75 years to gain this recognition. While we all know and appreciate what the veterans had done to accomplish their mission, how they suffered deeply the injustice and indignation, and how their courage and loyalty to country carried their hopes through these long years, their day of justice became reality on Nov 30, 2016 – on the eve of Dec 8th – the day the Philippines was attacked by the Japanese Imperial Forces. The Congressional Gold Medal is now their symbol of dignity and honor restored, and the triumph they had sought for a very long time. I want to personally thank each and every one of you for accomplishing this mission for the veterans and their loved ones. We did this all for them and nothing more. There is no greater act we could have done than help them with their cause to be recognized, at last, by a grateful Nation and by an Act of Congress. They deserve this more than we can ever imagine. We are deeply and eternally grateful to them for preserving our lives in this country and Philippines. They will always serve as the beacon of inspiration for all Filipinos, Filipino-Americans, and Americans alike. But the work does not stop here. We have much more to do in the near term. I would hope you will continue to help endure the FILVETREP mission and extend the legacy of the veterans, and the significance of the Congressional Gold Medal for generations to come. We have now elevated and preserved their prominence in American history. Thank you for your volunteerism and service. HOOAAAAH! Sincerely Tony Taguba Major General, US Army Retired Chairman, FILVETREP
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