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Honda, Hirono Honor Filipino American History Month

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Introduce a Bipartisan, Bicameral Resolution To Recognize October as “Filipino American History Month”

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) 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.

“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 Rep. 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.”

“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.”

The text of Congressman Honda’s resolution is available here, and the text of Senator Hirono’s resolution can be found here.

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. 260,000 WWII Filipino and Filipino American veterans fought under the American flag at the request of President Roosevelt.

The resolution(s) have broad support, including from: Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Tim Kaine (D-VA); and Repsresentatives 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).

“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.”

“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!

“As we celebrate Filipino-American history month, I – along with all Nevadans – are 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.”

“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. From Ketchikan to Juneau, Kodiak to Anchorage and beyond, the Filipino community has played a vital part in the economic development of Alaska,” said Senator 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.”

“There are over 3 million Americans of Filipino ancestry in the United States today and I am proud to say that I am one of them.   Filipino Americans have contributed to American life and culture in countless ways.  Roughly 250,000 Filipino soldiers and guerrilla fighters served under or alongside United States armed forces during World War II, and Filipino Americans across the country are leaders in their fields.  From science to the arts, there are many Filipino Americans across the country serving as leaders in their communities. Filipino American History Month gives us the opportunity to promote Filipino culture, celebrate our extraordinary diversity as a country, and provides us a time to consider the numerous contributions that Filipino Americans have made to our country,” said Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott.

“From military service to healthcare and education, one would be hard-pressed to find a facet of our country that hasn’t been positively affected by Filipino Americans. This legislation rightfully acknowledges the month of October as a time to celebrate the rich history and culture of the Filipino American community, which has made vital economic, social, and cultural contributions to our nation. Going forward, I hope that we also recognize the Filipino veterans who bravely served in our nation’s armed forces during World War II. As Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), I will continue to fight for these veterans and their families so that they may finally be granted the benefits and recognition they deserve,” said Rep. Judy Chu.

“I’m proud to join my colleagues in cosponsoring a resolution marking Filipino American History Month. This resolution recognizes the vital and immeasurable contributions that the Filipino American community has made to our nation,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “In my East Bay community, Filipino Americans have opened businesses, created visionary art and music, and actively participated in civic life. With more than 1.4 million Filipino Americans calling California home, our state’s past, present and future are inexorably linked to the success and passion of the Filipino American community.”

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