Sunday, May 19, 2024

Pateros Council endorses Filipino and American WWII Veterans Recognition Day


PATEROS – The Pateros City Council approved a proclamation recognizing Veterans Day as also United States Congressional Gold Medal and American World War II Veterans Recognition Day at its regular monthly meeting last Monday, July 16.

Rey Pascua, President of the Filipino American Community of the Yakima Valley, addressed the council about the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal honoring Filipino WWII veterans approved by Congress in December 2016, the federal and state proclamation and certificate relating to it, and the historical connection between the City of Pateros and Pateros in the Philippines.

Pascua recited the occasion of Spanish American War veteran Captain Chuck Nosler renaming Millersville Pateros after a village he encountered in the Philippines.

Pascua passed around a certificate signed by Congressman Dan Newhouse for presentation to veterans who received bronze copies of the medal in his district.

Pascua noted that not only did Filipinos help the allied forces win World War II, Filipino farm workers also played a significant role in the Cesar Chavez union movement in California.

“This was a four-year effort to get Congress to pass the bill,” said Pascua “and one of my gifts to Pateros tonight is a copy of that law, Public Law 114265.”

Pascua explained how the U.S. gained possession of the Philippines as a colony in 1902 and so it remained until 1946 when the Philippines gained its independence.

Five months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt brought all Philippine military troops under U.S. command, said Pascua.

“Over 260,000 Filipinos fought under the U.S. flag in World War II,” said Pascua adding that more than 1 million Filipinos out of a population of some 16 million died in the war.

Pascua also brought a copy of Governor Inslee’s proclamation designating April as Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project Month. He said that both eligible Filipino and American veterans can acquire their own bronze copy of the Congressional Gold Medal for about $100. The medal Pascua passed around was the one presented to his father-in-law, Arthur Anderson, from Silvana, Wash., a Coast Guardsman who served on a Navy transport during WWII.


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