- Posted April 29, 2014 by
Obama lauds Filipino, American soldiers
Obama made this statement during his visit at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Wellness Center in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
"Together, Filipinos and Americans put up a heroic defense at Bataan and Corregidor. Together, they endured the agony of the death marches and the horror of the prisoner of war camps. Many never made it out. In those years of occupation, Filipino resistance fighters kept up the struggle. And hundreds of thousands of Filipinos fought under the American flag," the US President said.
In the same vein, he also apologized for the neglect in giving the Filipino veterans their just due.
"And sadly, the proud service of many of these Filipino veterans was never fully recognized by the United States. Many were denied the compensation they had been promised. It was an injustice. So in recent years, my administration, working with Congress and others, have worked to right this wrong. We passed a law, reviewed the records, processed claims, and nearly 20,000 Filipino veterans from World War II and their families finally received the compensation they had earned. And it was the right thing to do," Obama said.
He added: "We are truly honored to have some of these extraordinary veterans here with us today. Among them are men who fought at Bataan and Corregidor, and a survivor of those hellish prisoner of war camps. Some fought in the resistance, including nurse Carolina Garcia Delfin. These veterans are now in their nineties. They are an inspiration to us all, and I’d ask those who can stand to stand or give a wave so that we can all salute their service," Obama said.
He said the spirit of these veterans -- their strength, their solidarity -- I see it in you as well when you train and exercise together to stay ready for the future, when our special forces -- some of you here today -- advise and assist our Filipino partners in their fight against terrorism, and when you respond to crises together, as you did after typhoon “Yolanda.”