October 08, 2015

Hirono, Honda Lead Bipartisan Resolution To Recognize Filipino American History Month

Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono and Congressman Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley) introduced a bicameral and bipartisan resolution to recognize October 2015 as ‘‘Filipino American History Month.”  Senator Hirono represents the only Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) majority state in the country, and Congressman Honda represents the only AAPI-majority district in the continental United States.

“Recognizing Filipino American History Month in Congress is a testament to the countless contributions that Filipino Americans have made to our country,” said Senator Hirono. “As we celebrate Filipino American heritage, we must also renew our commitment to recognizing Filipino World War II veterans for their service to our country, and continue to work toward comprehensive immigration reform that would reunite many Filipino American families.”

“When we talk about diversity strengthening the fabric of our nation, the contributions of Filipino Americans come to mind. Every day in Silicon Valley, I see evidence of the continued courage, innovation, and hard work that Filipino Americans have displayed throughout American history as labor leaders, service members, artists, and business owners,” said Representative Honda. “As we celebrate and honor this culture, we also must take pause to recommit ourselves to reuniting Filipino veterans with their children and honoring the promises made to the WWII veterans who served side-by-side with American troops.”

“Nevada would not be the state that it is today without the contributions made by thousands of Filipino-Americans. The cultural identity that they have shared with us is will forever be a part of Nevada’s own rich heritage, and so I am proud to support Senator Mazie Hirono and Representative Mike Honda’s resolution to recognize October as Filipino American History Month,” said Senator Harry Reid. “I know how much the Filipino-American community has done for the state of Nevada and our country, and I hope Americans across the nation will join us in celebrating the history and tradition of the many Filipino-Americans we call our neighbors, colleagues and friends.”

"Filipino Americans have made indelible contributions to our country: serving valiantly in every American conflict since the Civil War; spearheading social movements; and innovating in our health care and technology sectors, among many other things,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer. “They are a family-oriented and patriotic people who have long been integral parts of every community they live in. Like the other cultures and heritages we celebrate as integral parts of the American cultural mosaic, the Filipino American culture deserves its month in the sun.”

“This month we celebrate the rich culture and history of Filipino communities across the country,” said Senator Patty Murray. “As one of the largest Asian and Pacific-Islander populations in Washington state, Filipino Americans have made countless contributions to our culture and society. I am proud to join with the thousands of Filipino Americans across my home state and the nation celebrating Filipino Americans both in the past and today.”

“Alaska is home to 19,000 Filipino Americans. This is a community that first came to Alaska long before statehood and grew up with us,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “From Ketchikan to Juneau, Kodiak to Anchorage and beyond, the Filipino community has played a vital part in the economic development of Alaska,” said Murkowski. “Their rich history and culture tremendously contributes to the diversity of our state and our nation. I am proud to celebrate their culture and accomplishments.”

“Filipino American History Month will serve to remind us all of the important role Filipinos have played in shaping American history,” said Senator Maria Cantwell. “As we recognize Filipino American history, we must also recognize the heroic service of Filipino veterans. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure Filipino veterans who served in WWII receive the distinction and benefits they deserve.”

"Illinois benefits greatly from the important economic and cultural contributions of the roughly 140,000 Filipino Americans that call our state home,” said Senator Mark Kirk. "The United States and the Republic of the Philippines have a special friendship, as evidenced not only by the many Filipinos who fought side-by-side with Americans to defend freedom in World War II, but also by the enduring economic and security alliance that our two democracies share today.  To mga Kababayan in Illinois and throughout America, I say:  Maraming salamat, po!

“From the 250,000 Filipino Americans who fought during World War II, to the integral role Filipino labor leaders like Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Itliong played in the fight for workers, to the tremendous contributions Filipino Americans continue to make to the many aspects of American cultural life, I’m honored to again commemorate Filipino American History Month,” said Senator Bob Menendez. “Let us renew our commitment to celebrate our diverse communities who have a proud history in this country and continue to make a lasting contribution to the betterment of the United States.”

“As we celebrate Filipino-American history month, I – along with all Nevadans – am proud of the great contributions this community has made to our nation,” said Senator Dean Heller. “The Silver State in particular is lucky to be home to the ‘Mighty Five,’ a group of Filipino-Americans who have fought for Filipino veterans to be recognized for their service to the U.S. during World War II.  This month also celebrates the many traditions and contributions of America’s Filipino-American community. Their rich history and culture has greatly enhanced America’s melting pot and has played an instrumental role in Nevada’s economy, culture, and way of life.”

“With more than 90,000 Filipino Americans who call the Commonwealth home, recognizing Filipino American History Month is an important priority for us,” said Senator Tim Kaine. “The community continues to have close ties to the Hampton Roads region through their contributions to the U.S. military - contributions that reflect the long-standing loyalty of this community to the United States, and carries on the tradition of more than 260,000 Filipino soldiers who responded to President Roosevelt’s call-to-arms in July 1941 leading up to World War II.”

The resolution is also supported by the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations 

"Filipino American History Month is a time to celebrate the centuries of contributions that Filipino Americans have made to our nation,” said Director Christopher Kang of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA). “NCAPA thanks Senator Hirono and Representative Honda for introducing this resolution and for the leadership that they and other CAPAC members have shown in honoring the 260,000 courageous Filipino and Filipino American soldiers who served in World War II, through legislation that would award them a Congressional Gold Medal and by working to reunite the surviving 18,000 veterans with their families after decades of waiting.”

The resolution honors the earliest documented Filipino presence in the continental U.S., the very first permanent Filipino settlement in the nation, and the economic, cultural, and social contributions of Filipino Americans.

Currently, there are nearly 3.5 million Filipino Americans, including WWII Filipino American veterans who fought under the American flag at the request of President Roosevelt.

The Senate resolution is co-sponsored by Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Al Franken (D-MN), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Tim Kaine (D-VA).

The House resolution is cosponsored by Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Zoe Lofgren, (D-CA), Grace Meng (D-NY) Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Sam Farr (D-CA), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Scott Peters (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Karen Bass (D-CA).