BOSTON, Sept. 14, 2017, – This week the Boston City Council adopted a resolution authored by President Michelle Wu which calls on the U.S. Congress to pass H.R. 2358 / S.1050 The Chinese American World War II Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Act. At a time when the total Chinese American population in the U.S. and Hawaii was approximately 120,000 people, 20,000 Chinese Americans enlisted in the armed services. Almost half of those who served were not American citizens due to the limitations of the Chinese Exclusion Act.
President Wu thanks volunteers of her reelection campaign.
“This year marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act, an act that made racial discrimination against Chinese people an explicit part of U.S. law for more than 60 years,” said President Wu. “On this anniversary we call on Congress to correct the record. It is time to recognize people who have been ignored for too long and to honor their service.”
“Chinese Americans served in World War II in every theater of war and every branch of service, earning citations for their heroism and services, up to and including the Congressional Medal of Honor,” said U.S. Army Retired Major General William Chen of Belmont, MA, the first Chinese American to wear the 2-star rank of Major General in the U.S. Army. “The legacy of the Chinese American Veterans of World War II is that by demonstrating their skills, competencies, loyalty, and patriotism during the war, they helped to open opportunities for all Asian Americans to be a part of Mainstream America post-World War II.”
In addition to Chinese American men serving in all theaters of war, and in several branches of the armed services, Chinese American women served in the Women’s Army Corps, the Army Air Force, and the United States Naval Reserve Women’s Reserve. While few veterans are still living to receive the Congressional Gold Medal individually, it has been awarded to groups of veterans in the past, including the Tuskegee Airmen and Filipino American veterans.