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Students Hold Vigils Seeking Justice for WWII Veteranos

On Thursday, October 20, the Filipino Student Association (FSA) at UC Santa Cruz held a vigil to honor Filipino Veteranos from World War II by fighting for the benefits that they deserve.

Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos served under the United States in World War II, many of them receiving prestigious medals. While promised benefits by U.S. President Roosevelt, the U.S. Government refuses to acknowledge their contributions. Many of these Veteranos have since died, but an estimated 7,000 live in the U.S. and over 30,000 in the Philippines.

Thursday's vigil was part of a national day of awareness sponsored by Student Action for Veterans Equity (SAVE). The day was "part of an ongoing campaign to 'paint the nation brown', stressing the awareness of the Brown Ribbon Campaign; an education and action campaign dedicated to the fight for Full Equity only and nothing less, through the passages of H.R. 302 and S. 146"

Quoted from the vigil announcement:
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Informational posters like this one were set up for students to reflect on.
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One of the organizers of the vigil at UCSC speaks to the crowd of the importance of the two bills in Congress.

While he's a Republican, he notes that, 'this issue isn't political - it's about justice.' He expressed dismay that it was members of his own party that are preventing the equity bills from being quickly passed.
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This student, who is currently taking the 'Pilipino Historical Dialogue' course designed and taught by members of FSA, speaks about his grandfather. A Veterano, his grandfather served for the U.S. military and was eventually awarded a medal (bottom left) that his grandson now proudly wears.

Like a few other students whose grandfathers fought for the U.S., this student's grandfather was wounded in combat. He has not received any benefits from the U.S. government.
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An organizer of the vigil, and a coordinator of the hip-hop dance team Haluan, performs a spoken word piece.
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Students begin to light the candles.
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After a moment of silence, students placed the candles near the pictures of Veteranos from World War II.
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FSA's Pagkakaisa Dance Troupe (PDT) finishes a traditional Filipino dance.

The vigil also featured a skit on Veteranos by People Power, FSA's theatre group, and a song by Isan Himig, FSA's choir.

Last year's Pilipino Cultural Celebration (PCC), a collaborative show put on by the whole FSA community, was centered on the struggles of Veteranos.
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Group photo.
For additional/larger photos or to republish, please contact sugarloaf (at) - thanks to everyone in FSA and all those that showed up at the vigil.

For more information about UCSC's Filipino Student Association, visit -

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