The Veterans’ Building has internal historic spaces that are designed to carry out the rights of our veterans under the Trust Agreement. The spaces and arrangements of hisrorical artifacts in Room 126, the Filipino Veterans’ WWII Memorial on the first floor of the Veterans’ Building have existed since the end of WWII.
The historic room is located less than 100 ft from the stage where the Charter of the United Nation was signed and was designated by the Filipino WWII veterans as the Carlos P. Romulo room in honor of the Filipino General who helped the allied forces in the war effort who was the signatory for the Philippines to the United Nations Charter when it was founded in 1946 and who became the President of the UN General Assembly.
The trustees want to change that internal arrangement of the historical space so they can take away Room 126 from our veterans.
Those groups are the rightful beneficiaries of the trust by which the City owns the Veterans’ Building.
Instead of using the spaces for the purpose established by the Trust Agreement, the trustees want to surrender to the Arts Commission and the Opera the rights of our veterans and patriotic groups in the Veterans’ Building. That is not just. The historic layout of the Veterans’ Building has been to allow our veterans to use the Veterans’ Building to provide offices, meeting rooms, and club rooms for our veterans’ and patriotic groups, not for the Arts Commission or the Opera. That is what the Trust Agreement has provided since 1921, and that is the way the spaces in the Veterans’ Building should be used.
For years, we have been organizing a Veterans History Project in the historic Room 126 to honor the sacrifices of Philippine Americans who have served in the United States armed forces by creating a dedicated room to display examples of their history. For years, the trustees have been preventing us from accomplishing those objectives.
If the trustees are permitted to change the interior spaces of the Veterans’ Building, it will destroy the history of the building and end the historical presence of Filipino WWII veterans in the War Memorial building.
Please join me in requesting the Historic Preservation Commission to disapprove the trustees’ proposals.