Filipino WWII Veterans Honored In City Council Ceremony
A group of Filipino American World War II veterans was recognized by the Honolulu City Council Nov. 13, when members Ron Menor, Joey Manahan and Kymberly Pine presented honorary certificates to Angelicio Pegar, Francisco Obina, Ben Acohido, Anita Acohido, Lucio Sanico and Domingo Los Banos.
During World War II, about 250,000 Filipino nationals and 7,000 Filipino Americans volunteered to fight for the U.S. Though promised full benefits upon entering service, they were denied these benefits. This continued until the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provided lump-sum payments of $15,000 for qualified veterans in the U.S. And $9,000 for those in the Philippines.
The Honolulu Hale ceremony could not right the past wrongs, but it was held to simply offer thanks for their service. Menor said the United States owes a debt to the veterans.
“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,” said Menor.
“Thanks to their heroic actions and those of all veterans from other wars, we today live as free citizens.”