"Love your country," a simple yet profound advice from 94 year-old Filipino World War II Veteran

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Judge Rafael DePeralta, a 94 year-old Filipino World War II veteran was in his mid 20's when he was asked to enlist as a guerrilla fighter in the war. His father just died, his wife just had a baby but he didn't think twice before saying "yes". He just asked that he'd be given time to pay respects and grieve for his father.

When asked why did he did it, he said he needed to fight back and that no one else was left to defend his country and countrymen. Everyone was either deployed, died or injured.

Judge DePeralta was one of the 260,000 who fought back in WWII and are still fighting to be recognized.

On the NBC News report: General Wants Congressional Medals for Filipino World War II Vets:

The Filipino Veterans of WWII have become a symbol of injustice for Filipinos in the U.S. and the Philippines.

For the war effort, more than 200,000 were called into action and promised full benefits, including citizenship, but that promise was broken in 1946.

Getting to know individuals like Judge DePeralta was a humbling experience. It's a blessing to witness the serene sense of pride, loyalty and humility of that generation.  

Every month I am thankful that MakilalaTV, the first Filipino-American television talk show in the New York area, gives me an opportunity to meet heroes like the Judge.

"Love your country." That was his advice to our generation. It's simple yet profound.

This Veteran's Day, let's pause, thank and honor all those who served and are still serving. Let's remember the sacrifices made and never take our freedom for granted.

MakilalaTV's episode on ""Filipino WW2 Veterans: Still Fighting After 70+ Years" will air on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) Culture Channel on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 9PM at Manhattan Neighborhood Network Culture Channel 4: Fios 36, RCN 85 m TW 67 & 1998.
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