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City Council Honors Filipino-American World War II Veterans

Honolulu City Council presented honorary certificates last month to a group of veterans. Pictured (front, from left) are Councilman Joey Manahan, veterans Angelicio Pegar, Francisco Obina, Ben Acohido, Anita Acohido, Lucio Sanico and Domingo Los Banos, Councilmembers Ron Menor and Kymberly Pine, (back, from left) Councilmembers Breene Harimoto, Stanley Chang, Carol Fukunaga, Ernie Martin, Ann Kobayashi and Ikaika Anderson. Photo from Ron Menor.

Honolulu City Council presented honorary certificates last month to a group of veterans. Pictured (front, from left) are Councilman Joey Manahan, veterans Angelicio Pegar, Francisco Obina, Ben Acohido, Anita Acohido, Lucio Sanico and Domingo Los Banos, Councilmembers Ron Menor and Kymberly Pine, (back, from left) Councilmembers Breene Harimoto, Stanley Chang, Carol Fukunaga, Ernie Martin, Ann Kobayashi and Ikaika Anderson. Photo from Ron Menor.

It was an extra special Veteran’s Day for a group of World War II Filipino-American vets, who were honored Nov. 13 by the City Council.

Councilmembers Ron Menor (District 9), Joey Manahan (District 7) and Kymberly Pine (District 1) presented an honorary certificate to the group in recognition of their heroism and military service.

The group honored here was among about 250,000 Filipino nationals who fought in the U.S. military during the war. They were promised full veterans benefits, but a bill was passed after the war that prevented them from receiving such benefits.

“These Filipino-American veterans didn’t want special privileges,” stated Councilman Manahan. “They only wanted to be treated as equals with fellow veterans from other conflicts.”

In 2009, the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye was able to provide some funds for these veterans. But many already had passed away.

“Their military service not only helped to win the war, but also shortened its duration, limited the financial cost and spared the lives of many Americans who most likely would have died or suffered injuries had it not been for their involvement,” Menor said. “Thanks to their heroic actions and those of all veterans from other wars, we today live as free citizens.”

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