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virginia beach

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Virginia to honor ‘significant contributions’ of Filipino sailors with historical highway marker

Filipino navy
  • Virginia leaders are set to commemorate the legacy of Filipino sailors who served in the U.S. Navy with a historical highway marker during a celebration this Saturday.
  • Many Filipinos originally emigrated from the Philippines to the Hampton Roads region of Virginia for opportunities with the U.S. Navy.
  • Today, the region is home to the largest Filipino-American community in Virginia.
  • The marker, “Filipinos in the U.S. Navy,” is one of five historical markers nominated by Virginia students through a state-wide contest aiming to highlight the history of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the area.

Virginia leaders are set to commemorate the legacy of Filipino sailors who served in the U.S. Navy with a historical highway marker in Virginia Beach during a celebration this weekend.

Hampton Roads, a Virginia region which contains Naval Station Norfolk, saw an influx of Filipino immigrants when the U.S. Navy started recruiting Filipino sailors shortly after the Philippines gained independence in 1948. In what is referred to as a “status of forces agreement” between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States, the U.S. agreed to allow Filipino citizens to enlist in the Navy in order to retain their military bases in the Philippines. Today, it is home to one of the largest Filipino-American communities in the United States.