For those who may be unaware of the context of the history lesson given by the writer of a Nov. 14 letter, I would like to add the following.
The U.S. has been closely involved with the Philippines since defeating the Spanish in 1898. We had important military bases there as well as economic activities. The islands were a prime goal for the Japanese, who invaded them simultaneously with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Filipino troops shared with ours the horrors of Corregidor and the march up the Bataan Peninsula.
After the U.S. military left, the islands endured a terrible occupation until the spring of 1944, when Gen. Douglas MacArthur landed on Leyte and the Japanese Army was defeated. Throughout the war, Filipinos served with our forces while many in the islands engaged in guerrilla tactics, helping allies who had not left and were supplying us with intelligence. It is estimated that 2 million Filipinos died as a result of the war.
In addition to this shared history, we should also look to the part Filipino-Americans have played in Hawaii. They have made valuable contributions in all walks of life, but perhaps most notably in the health field.
The writer encouraged his fellow Filipino-Americans to contribute to the current relief effort.
I believe Americans of whatever background should also do so.