Rep. Ed Royce met with Filipino veterans of World War II during Wednesday's Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony including Celestino Almeda pictured above.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) joined House and Senate leadership at the U.S. Capitol to present a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of Filipino veterans of World War II for their service and sacrifice during the war.
Rep. Royce had the pleasure of hosting two Southern California families who attended today’s ceremony as surviving relatives of Filipino veterans of World War II. The family members included Clarita Prepuse Quinto—daughter of veteran Marcos Prepuse—and her husband Alfred Quinto, and Dalmacio B. Calas—son of veteran Pedro Calas—and his wife Celia L. Calas.
(Pictured left to right) Dalmacio B. Calas—son of veteran Pedro Calas—and his wife Celia L. Calas, andClarita Prepuse Quinto—daughter of veteran Marcos Prepuse—and her husband Alfred Quinto.
Below are highlights of Rep. Royce’s remarks (as prepared for delivery):
“It is an honor to be a part of today’s ceremony recognizing the valor and sacrifice of the Filipino Veterans of World War II. This unsung group of heroes fought courageously for the defense of our country during one of the most important periods of American history. Their valor and patriotism is deserving of the highest civilian recognition from the U.S. Congress.
“Some of the most significant contributions made by these veterans came when our nation needed them most. In 1941, more than 250,000 Filipino soldiers responded to President Roosevelt’s call-to-arms to fight under the American flag. 16,000 Filipinos enlisted from in my home state of California, and subsequently the United States Army’s 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments were organized in California.
“The contributions of the Filipino World War II veterans are an important part of our American military history, and their accomplishments deserve the foremost recognition, a Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.
“To these brave veterans of World War II and their surviving family members, thank you for your service and sacrifice. We honor your service by working towards a better world.”
Rep. Royce joined House and Senate leaders Wednesday in presenting the Congressional Gold Medal in honor of Filipino veterans of World War II.
On November 30, 2016, the House passed bipartisan legislation recognizing Filipino veterans of World War II and collectively awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor the United States can bestow. In accordance with Public Law No: 114-265, a single gold medal has been struck to honor the Filipino veterans of World War II in recognition of their dedicated service during the war.
As Foreign Affairs Chairman, Rep. Ed Royce led a bipartisan delegation to the Philippines in 2016 and has long worked to improve U.S.- Philippine relations. Video of Rep. Royce’s remarks at today’s ceremony are available HERE.