LAS VEGAS – The recent unanimous vote in the U.S. Senate brought Filipino World War II veterans one step closer to the Congressional Gold Medal, which is the highest civilian honor given by Congress.
The next step is to get the Congressional Gold Medal bill passed in the House of Representatives.
For retired U.S. Army Major General Antonio Taguba, time is essential.
“We don’t have a Plan B,” said Taguba. “We’re not going to wait for next year because they have been waiting for all those years. We’re all committing nationally that we want to get this done before they pass away.”
General Taguba, who took time out from speaking at an event for AARP, said that there has been progress in gaining support among members in the House.
Taguba said the goal is to pass the bill before lawmakers get too preoccupied with the November elections.
According to Taguba, 205 U.S. Congressmen and women have signed up to support the bill, which leaves only 85 more to get on board.
“We’re really excited even though they are in recess that most of them will sign up by the end of September,” said Taguba.
“So we’re inching along. We’re happy that our community is widely aware that we are trying to pass the congressional gold medal.”
Taguba is calling on the Filipino community, veteran advocates, and Americans everywhere to do their part in making sure their representatives in Congress support the bill.
“Go knock on doors,” said Taguba. “Go make a telephone call and say ‘have you heard?’ We just want your support. We’re not asking for money. We’re not asking for any more immigration benefits. We’re asking you to just say ‘we want to thank our Filipino World War II veterans.”
Taguba added, the congressional gold medal will be displayed in the National Museum of American History in Washington DC while replicas of the medal will be given to the remaining veterans and their families.