BREWER — It’s estimated that 20,000 Chinese Americans served in World War II despite many of them dealing with discrimination.
Now, thanks to the Chinese American WWII Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act, several of these previously unheralded war heroes have been honored in a ceremony that took place this past Saturday in Boston.
Steve Wong, who was born and raised in the greater Bangor area and co-owns the Brewer Creative Arts Center with his wife, attended the ceremony to accept the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his father, Charles Wong, and his uncle, Thomas Wong Sing.
Wong’s father and uncle both served in the United States Army Air Corps.
Wong says it was a privilege to represent his father and uncle at the ceremony as they were awarded the same honor that George Washington received in 1776.
“They gave the first gold medal, medal of honor to George Washington,” said Wong. “He lived in Virginia and he came up specifically to receive that award.”
“What we’re talking about if the historic building that we were in,” he said. “Just think, count back how many years that is and George Washington was standing right there, where we were, to accept the medal.”
The medal that Wong received is a bronze replica of the original gold medal which can be found at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
Wong says that he is glad that Chinese Americans like his father and uncle are now getting the recognition they deserve.