The fathers of Bedford residents Mon and Dan Luke will be awarded Congressional Gold Medals early next year. The medals will honor the Chinese Americans who served in the US Armed Forces during World War II. Mon Luke’s father was in the Merchant Marine, and Dan Luke’s father served in the US Army.
The Lukes attended a recent luncheon and lecture presented at the Tufts Medical Center Sackler Auditorium by retired Maj. General William Chen, the first Chinese American two-star general to serve in the U.S. Army. Gen. Chen’s father was a captain in the U.S. Army Air Force who flew with the famed “Flying Tigers” under General Claire Chennault during World War II.
General Chen lobbied Congress, along with a group from the Boston Lodge of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance to secure this long-deserved accolade to honor the 22,000 Chinese Americans who served heroically during World War II, in spite of the discriminatory Chinese Exclusion Act that wasn’t repealed until 1943. The award was authorized in an act of Congress signed into law by President Trump in 2018.
The award’s history is described on the website, caww2.org.