Honored at last

Anthony Chua

Nagasaki and Hiroshima had already been bombed by atomic bombs some 64 years ago forcing Imperial Japan to surrender to the United States, but it still took the same number of years for our valiant lolos and lolas, who fought alongside Americans, to be honored finally as heroes of World War 2.

The Americans could not upbraid around 200,000 Filipino veterans for slacking during the peak moments of the war. They have fought with all their heart, mind and soul. And yet, after the dust of the war was settled, a year later, they suffered a painful blow as the US Congress passed the Rescission Act that voided Filipino veterans of their status as US veterans and denied them the benefits they were promised.

However all the anguish and bitterness was water under the bridge now as the remaining 18,000 venerable lolos and lolas would be rewarded for their bravery more than six decades ago as President Obama Feb 17 signed into law Stimulus Bill, a fraction of which has allotted for the compensation Filipino veterans worth $15,000 to US citizens and $9,000 to non-US citizens.

Change has indeed happened in American character, ideals, and morals as its first African-American president, himself a victim of ire and maltreatment of racism, gave justice to the honorable deeds of the remaining 18,000 Filipino veterans who almost spent their lifetime fighting for the recognition due them.


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