Chinese American WWII Vets Congressional Gold Medal Act Becomes Law

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Pvt. Moy Doo Pon and Pvt. Lee Ben Hong of the 446th Engineer Company are sworn in by Robert Brune of the State Department. The two new citizens took their oath while serving in India on the Fourth of July in 1944. (via Chinese American Citizens Alliance)

SAN FRANCISCO — The Chinese American World War II Veterans Recognition Project, a program of the National Chinese American Citizens Alliance Community Involvement Fund, a federally recognized non-profit organization, announced that on Dec. 20, President Donald Trump signed the Chinese American WWII Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Act into law.

Chinese Americans who served in the six branches of the U.S. Armed Services during WWII are finally getting the honor and recognition long due them.

“The Chinese American community has been working very closely with political leaders from every state to ensure unanimity in the passing of this great legislative bill. Now that President Trump has signed this legislation into law, we applaud his recognition of the Chinese Americans who also served to open paths of opportunities as members of “‘America’s Greatest Generation,’” said National CACA Veterans Project Coordinator and CACA Past National President Ed Gor.

“We would like to express our gratitude to Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) for their early support of S1050, the Chinese American WWII Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Act. And, to our original co-sponsors in the House, many thanks go out to Reps. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Ted Lieu (D-Manhattan Beach), who championed HR2358 to a supermajority in the House of Representatives,” said E. Samantha Cheng, project director of the Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project.

Few people know that more than 18,000 Chinese Americans served in the U.S. military during WWII. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was still in force when the U.S. first entered the war in 1941 and the Magnuson Act of 1943 repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act thus allowing Chinese to legally immigrate to the U.S.

“Notwithstanding discriminatory treatment under the Chinese Exclusion Act, tens of thousands of Chinese American men and women enlisted in the military during our country’s hour of need in WWII,” said CACA National President Davace Chin. “We are extremely grateful and appreciative for Congress’ recognition of the loyalty, service and sacrifice made by Chinese American veterans. This highest honor is poignant and bittersweet.”

Headquartered in San Francisco with chapters/lodges in Albuquerque, Boston, Chicago, Greater San Gabriel Valley, Greater New York, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mississippi, Oakland, Peninsula (California), Portland, Phoenix, Salinas, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C., the alliance addresses issues regarding voter education, political participation, racial discrimination and hate crimes, and supports youth leadership training programs and equal employment opportunities for all Chinese Americans.

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