Cape World War II vet to receive Congressional Gold Medal

A Cape Coral World War II veteran will receive the nation’s highest civilian honor Friday.

Ponciano “Poncho” Mauricio will be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in a public ceremony at 11 a.m. at Cape Coral City Council chambers on 1015 Cultural Park Blvd. U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney will present the medal.

“It’s really heartwarming to see and it’s heartwarming to reflect that our country is such a great country that we correct wrongs when we’ve found them and certainly major Maurico is a genuine American and Philippine hero,” Congressman Francis Rooney said.

Mauricio was a prisoner of war and survivor of the 1942 Bataan Death March while serving in the United States Armed Forces of the Far East from Oct. 7, 1941 through June 30, 1946, attaining the rank of major.

The medal memorializes the service and sacrifice of the more than 260,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers during the war. The bill to grant the medal to Mauricio and other veterans was signed into law by President Obama in 2016, but Mauricio was unable to attend the October award ceremony in Washington.

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