The Story of Forgotten Veterans: the Philippines and Beyond
What Have We Learned?
The 67th Anniversary of the Bataan Death March became a pivotal moment in the lives of Filipino veterans. Their march throughout Washington, D.C., embodied not just their solomun experiences as World War II prisoners of war, but their final recognition from the government for which they fought those many years ago. This news reel describes President Obama's recognition of the Filipino soldiers who fought in World War II and the legislation that finally provided them the same benefits as their American counterparts. Following the war, President Truman modified Roosevelt's promise to the Philippines. He denied Filipino veterans their full benefits as soldiers under the American flag. Roosevelt equated their efforts with those of American soldiers and as such, deserving of the same financial compensation. President Truman denied the veterans these benefits.
From President Roosevelt to President Obama, we see the legacy of World War II and its enduring memory. The final words of the reported resonates with historical lessons:“So for the first time in 67 years they commemorated their sacrifice knowing their adopted country at long last had kept its word.” The "dwindling band of brothers" smile in their recognition; yet those who have become the victims of time remain as the honest memory of American-Philippine relations. Those who have become America's casualty of bureaucratic procrastination deserve more than what they have received. This becomes the legacy of World War II.