LOS ANGELES – Filipino World War II veterans and their supporters gathered in Hollywood for their annual Veterans Day March to call for full equity for the aging 'manongs'.
While veterans in their late 80s and 90s rode in a convoy, the young supporters marched down a half-mile stretch of the famed Hollywood Boulevard and culminated in the afternoon at Hollywood and Highland, a popular tourist destination.
Filipino veterans and their supporters also had a contingent at the annual San Francisco Veterans Day Parade.
Like the one in Los Angeles, many Fil-Am youth took part in the event with veterans riding along in cable cars.
Joemarie Dela Pena, also a San Francisco State University student, said, “We need to fight for our veterans because if not us, then who, and if not now, then when?”
There are several bills that would grant Filipino World War II veterans and their survivors full benefits and equity but have stalled in Congress.
Advocates said they hope that Congress can still pass legislation within the next two months before the end of this current congressional session.
“Sinusuportahan pa rin natin ang mga bills katulad ng pagbibigay ng gold medals para sa mga beterano sa Bataan, pero ang mas importante sa Filipino veterans ang Fairness Act of 2013,” said veterans advocate Art Garcia.
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