Filipino WWII Vets Receive U.S. Congressional Gold Medals in L.A.
General Taguba presenting the Congressional Gold Medal to centenarian WW II veteran Marcelo Bartolome who is 101 years old. (Los Angeles PCG photo)
LOS ANGELES 16 May 2018 – Filipino-American WW II veterans were awarded of replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal held at the Filipino Cultural Center in Los Angeles on 09 May 2018. The event was organized by The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetRep) led by retired U.S. Army Major General Antonio Taguba.
The awardees that evening constitute the first batch in Los Angeles to receive their personal replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal numbering 23. Fifteen were physically present during the awarding ceremony, mostly in their 80s and 90s with one 101 years old.
The Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015 was signed into law on 14 December 2016 by former U.S. President Barrack Obama. The LAW awarded 260,000 Filipino and Filipino-American WW II veterans a collective Congressional Gold Medal, signifying the United States’ recognition of Filipinos for their service with its highest civilian honor.
It is the FilVetRep Board of Directors that determined the number of Congressional Gold Medal replicas to be purchased from the U.S. Mint, for rostering purposes, budget programming and determining who qualify collectively as awardees of the United States Congressional Gold Medal (CGM Awardees) under the Act. END
The congressional gold medal depicts a Filipino scout, a Filipino infantry regiment officer, a guerrilla solder with the foreground of an infantryman on guard, symbolizing the soldiers’ fierce determination. The medal’s reverse (tails) displays both the American and Filipino World War II-era flags. “UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES IN THE FAR EAST” is inscribed along the top border of the design. The inscription of “DUTY TO COUNTRY” and the key locations of “BATAAN & CORREGIDOR,” “LUZON,” “LEYTE,” and “SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES” are featured centrally. “ACT OF CONGRESS 2016” is inscribed along the bottom of the design. (Los Angeles PCG photo)
Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz addressing the audience during the awarding ceremony of replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino WWII Veterans (Los Angeles PCG photo)
Retired U.S. Army Major General Antonio Taguba addressing the audience. (Los Angeles PCG photo)