Washington, DC - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence of the Homeland Security Committee, released the following statement today on the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor:

“On this day, the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Oahu, we should remember not only the brave Americans who perished on December 7, 1941, but also the more than 250,000 Filipinos who stepped forward to join our forces against the Japanese. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised the Filipino troops full veteran benefits, but Congress undid this covenant in 1946. I have authored the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act, co-sponsored by 76 members of Congress--to restore those benefits to the remaining Filipino veterans who helped preserve our freedom. And I do this in honor of the spirit of General George Washington who said: “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any way, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.” This ‘willingness’ must always be a solemn national pledge to the men and women who fought for our freedoms in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea and WWII. The Filipino troops are no exception to this pledge.“