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Filipino American Heroes Memorial

Quiters never win. Winners never quit.

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Potenciano J. Ramirez, 95, was inducted on July 8, 1942 into the guerrilla underground movement as a Captain of Squadron "D" Commando Group, Olangapo Sector, Zambales Miitary District, USAFFE. The military district was organized under the supervision of Col. Merrill and Col. Ralph McGuirre, officers then of the U.S. Army Cavalry at Stotsenberg, Clark Air Base, Pampanga Philippines.

     In one of the operations where Ramirez was coordinating with the Bataan guerrillas, he had a combat encounter with Japanese soldiers and he was wounded in the left leg on November 10, 1944.

    After his honorable discharge, Ramirez was employed in the security force of the U.S. Naval Base at Subic Bay and later as a close-in security officer of President Ramon Magsaysay.

    On April 5, 1994, Ramirez went to the United States and became a U.S. citizen under a new public law. He came  returned to Olangapo, Philippines for good on November 17, 1994.

   Ramirez is still hoping that the Equity bill for veterans benefits for Veterans in the Philippines will be approved by President Bush. He was rated as a U.S. service connected veteran for his injury during the war. He and his wife Annabelle G. Ramirez live in Barrio Barretto in Olangapo.
 
(Submitted by his wife Annabelle)
 
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Guillermo Rumingan, 79, a disabled Philippine Scout from Arlington, Virginia was recently honored by the prestigious Smithsonian National Museum of American History. His statement and personal photo were displayed as part of their permanent exhibit.

Rumingan's photo was taken when he was an 18-year-old guerrilla in World War II. It was displayed underneath the famous 1944 photograph of General Douglas MacArthur's landing in Leyte in the brand new "The Price of Freedom: Americans at War" exhibit.

Unveiled on November 11, 2004 the $20 Million permanent exhibition includes photos, videos and extensive memorabilia from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, Spanish-American, WWII, Cold War, Vietnam and recent conflicts.

On December 7, 2004, the anniversary of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, "Emong" Rumingan, his wife and grandchildren, as well as members of the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans were given a private tour by the museum project director.

At the end of the tour, Rumingan gave his remarks of appreciation of the Smithsonian Museum. He recalled the sacrifices and bravery of the loyal Filipino People during WWII. (His remarks follow)

Among the 800 fascinating artifacts are photos and commentary about the Philippine American war of 1898-1902, General Emilio Aguinaldo, the "Katipunan" insurgents and their independence movement.

The museum exhibition is on the 3rd floor, West Wing of the National Museum on 14th Street and Constitution Avenue.

"Freedom will Prevail"
by veteran Guillermo O. Rumingan, Dec. 7, 2004:
 
" My fellow veterans and I want to thank the Smithsonian for this timely exhibit. This exhibit extols the triumph of democracy throughout history. It is truly inspiring. It gives us cause for optimism, now that democracy is being threatened once again.

I want to pay tribute to the civilians and their families who supported us during the war. I myself would not be here, were it not for their enduring loyalty. At great sacrifice, the civilians did not betray us to the enemy. We faced cruelty, hardship and constant danger. The loyalty and support of civilians sustained us and strengthened our resolve to win against all odds.

During our time, we fought for democracy, so that succeeding generations would live in freedom. Today, in this same mission, we support our servicemen and servicewomen. We offer our prayers for their fallen comrades in Afghanistan and Iraq, and for those in our generation.
 
May this particular exhibit serve as a memorial for those guerrillas and civilians who, under extreme pressure, never squealed."

WWII Military Service:
 
Rumingan was born on December 27, 1925 in Cabanatuan area, Nueva Ecija,  Philippines.
 
During the war, he joined the guerrillas of the 201 Squadron of Capt. Juan Pajota of the Central Nueva Ecija Military Area and under the overall command of Maj. Robert Lapham of the Luzon Guerrilla Armed Forces.
 
He was processed on October 31, 1945 with a USAFFE serial number Philippine Army 207231 and was honorably discharged as sergeant on February 20, 1946.
 
On March 1, 1946, Rumingan enlisted as a Private with ASN PS10308671 in the Philippine Scouts, US Army. He retired as a Sergeant First Class due to a permanent physical disability on March 31, 1951.
 
Since the 1960s, he has been lobbying on Capitol Hill, Washington DC to fully restore the US Government recognition and VA benefits to his Filipino WWII comrades.
 
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