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Filipino veterans fought under the U.S. flag. Their story must not be forgotten.

“World War II happened in a lot of places. Why have I never heard about the Philippines during the war?”

        —Pattie Umali, Filipino American and Granddaughter of a Filipino Veteran.

Filipino and American soldiers fought side by side during World War II under the United States flag, yet their story remains untold in most U.S. history books. As the last surviving Filipino WWII veterans reach their twilight years, it is crucial that their perspectives are preserved so that Americans never forget their sacrifices.

Duty to Country is an award-winning online educational project that shares the critical role Filipinos played in World War II and beyond. Documenting the wartime heroism of Filipino Veterans and ongoing struggle of Filipino Americans for their civil rights, this project brings the entwined history of the United States and the Philippines to life with dynamic media and diverse stories that appeal to audiences of all ages.

A group of people protesting
A close up of a Filipino fighter in World War II raising the Flag of the Philippines, cropped from a propaganda poster.

This project showcases a robust archive of first-hand accounts featuring in an overview video, 20+ hours of oral histories, historical accounts, primary sources, and artifacts. Launched in 2020, Duty to Country includes Under One Flag, an online exhibition providing a media-rich exploration of this complex narrative. Engaging animations and illustrations bring the oral histories to life through a vibrant medium that resonates with younger audiences.

A woman being interviewed with cameras pointed at her

In 2021, we launched the For Educators section, featuring curriculum guides, five different lesson plans, and ten student Explainer activities. We also added Resources for deeper research and the FilVetREP Online Store, offering products featuring original artwork from the online exhibition.

Lesson plans and explainers
Teacher training videos and resources

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center acted as project advisors.

Ten headshots on a white background


Duty to Country gives you a fresh way to teach a familiar topic like World War II.

U.S. History Teacher

I'm really excited to use [Duty to Country] when I teach my students about activism in the U.S.! The lesson on the movement for Filipino benefits complements the lessons I teach on the civil rights movements and helps my students see how they have agency to make change, too.

U.S. History Teacher

Proud that our voices are being heard... the following generations need to hear the stories of these heroes!

U.S. History Teacher