Filipino WWII Veterans honored on Capitol Hill

Published: Oct. 25, 2017 at 4:39 PM EDT
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It’s a day 75 years in the making.

“I want to fight for America and defend my country," Gualberto Pumentoa Filipino WWII veteran said.

Gualberto Pumento served during World War II. Now he’s finally being honored for that service.

“I feel very proud of what my father did," his son added.

Four generations came together to celebrate the occasion where Pumento and others were recognized for their sacrifice in a special ceremony on Capitol Hill.

“I have waited along with my Filipino veterans and soldiers for this moment to come," Mr. Celestino Almeda another Filipino Veteran said.

The 100-year-old vet was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal. An overdue honor for so many, who did so much.

This event was several months in the making. To get a Congressional Gold Medal passed through Congress you need to have at least 75 signatures in the senate and at least 290 signatures in the house. It was an effort spearheaded by the two female members of the Hawaii delegation.

“I was working the floor everyday gathering signatures for my colleagues some of whom were very familiar with what happened during World War Two and in the Philippines and others who really didn’t know," Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2) said.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) played a major role getting the resolution passed and in bringing Hawaiian veterans to Capitol Hill for the event. Those who couldn’t make it, weren’t far from their minds.

“When I spoke about one of the veterans, he sent one of the people from Hawaii with his cross that is a great story so his cross is with us as he was here in spirit," Hirono added.

As this generation slowly drifts into the pages of our history books, these men and women leave knowing what they did won’t be soon forgotten.

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