SENATE PASSES BIPARTISAN DUCKWORTH-HIRONO BILL TO HONOR CHINESE-AMERICAN WWII VETERANS

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation this week introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) to recognize the tremendous contributions made by more than 13,000 Chinese-American World War II Veterans. The Chinese American World War II Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Act will authorize Congress to award the highest civilian honor – a Congressional Gold Medal – to these dedicated Veterans, including the approximately 50 Chinese-American WWII Veterans who call Illinois home.

“Despite facing outright discrimination, more than 13,000 brave Chinese Americans volunteered to risk their lives to protect their fellow Americans during World War II,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud my colleagues from both sides of the aisle have chosen to recognize this brave group of Veterans’ unwavering commitment and honor them with a Congressional Gold Medal.”

“During World War II, Chinese Americans served our country honorably while experiencing discrimination here at home,” said Hirono. “I thank my Senate colleagues for passing this legislation, which gets us one step closer to ensuring that these veterans receive this long-overdue recognition for their brave service.”

Senators Duckworth and Hirono introduced the bipartisan legislation in May of last year with former Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS). Companion legislation (HR.2358) has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Ed Royce (R-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Grace Meng (D-NY).

Since the American Revolution, Congress has issued gold medals to express its gratitude on behalf of the entire nation for distinguished achievements. The medal has been awarded to Veterans who served admirably in military conflicts as well as to civilians whose contributions have had a lasting impact on American history and culture.

Joyce Liu