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Asian Americans lobby to name naval ships for Filipino sailors

Author: Jenny Ha
Associated Press

San Francisco (AP)-Asian Americans, veterans and civilians in the United States and the Philippines are naming a naval ship for a Filipino sailor who bravely rescued two crew members when the ship caught fire more than a century ago , Won him prestige and a rare medal of honor.

Supporters say that the naming of a ship Trinidad is not only to commemorate the only Asian American in the U.S. Navy who has won the country’s highest bravery award, but also to commemorate since 1901 Tens of thousands of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans have served in the U.S. Navy since when the Philippines was a U.S. territory.

“I don’t believe this is a long-term goal at all; it may be a long timetable, but we hope it is not,” said retired navy captain Ron Ravello and campaign chairman. “In the foreseeable future, we will build naval ships, of which there is no reason why we cannot bear the name of Trinidad.”

Trinidad’s grandson, Rene Trinidad, said that Trinidad died in 1968 at the age of 77. He was so eager to join the US Navy that he traveled from his hometown of Panay in a lifeboat. Enlisted on the main island. In 1915, while patrolling the USS San Diego, he risked his life and rescued two crew members from burns when the boiler exploded, killing 9 people. That year, he was awarded the medal, which was then awarded the honor of non-combat bravery.

Rene Trinidad, a real estate agent in Southern California, recalled that his grandfather was a taciturn man.

“He let his actions speak for himself,” he said, “I think this is why he did what he did.”

The movement received enthusiasm from the grassroots and the support of Democratic congressmen, who wrote to Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker in May.

There are other naval ships named after Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including the destroyer USS Daniel Inouye. The former U.S. Senator received the Medal of Honor as part of the famous 442nd Infantry Regiment, which was composed of Japanese Americans whose families were imprisoned in concentration camps during World War II.

There is a U.S. Navy ship named after a Filipino, but Galland said that the destroyer Rizal, which served from 1919 to 1931, was donated by the Philippine legislature to commemorate the national hero He who had never served in the military. Se Rizal.

According to data from the Congressional Medal of Honor Association, since the creation of the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, more than twenty Asian and Pacific Americans have received the Medal of Honor, most of them in the US military. There are approximately 3,500 recipients.

Telesforo Trinidad was born in 1890 and joined the island force established by then President William McKinley in 1910 and served in two world wars. More than 250,000 Filipino soldiers served in World War II, and thousands were killed in the brutal Bataan death march in the Philippines in 1942.

Rene Trinidad, 65, said that arousing people’s attention to grandfather’s heroism runs counter to his cultural upbringing, but his late father wanted to be recognized. He overcame difficulties and gained Medal and strive to support the family. His two sons followed him into the U.S. Navy.

“The most important thing is that the contribution of Filipinos to the United States is recognized, and every Filipino should be proud of it,” he said.

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