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Stories of Service: 'Faces to Remember' project spotlights WWII Filipino veterans

Jacksonville photographer Agnes Lopez has made it her mission to tell the stories of people who she calls "truly amazing."

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — In this week's stories of services, First Coast News is featuring "The Faces to Remember" project.   

Jacksonville-based photographer Agnes Lopez takes photographs of Filipino soldiers who served in the United States Military in the Pacific theater of World War II. Out of the 260,000 Filipino soldiers who served, only 15,000 are left. 

Credit: The Faces to Remember Project

Lopez, who is of Filipino descent, has made it her mission to tell these stories. She says she was taught so little about this subject, although it had a direct effect on her family.

"I started learning more about my history and I realized that me being born and raised here in Jacksonville, Florida. I didn't know this history," Agnes Lopez said. 

Credit: The Faces to Remember Project

Pictured above is 97-year-old Patricio Ganio. He was part of the force that fought the three month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines against the Japanese in World War Two. The surviving forces were taken captive and forced to march without food or water for 70 miles to prison camps in what would come to be called the Bataan Death March. 

Thousands died along the way, either from malnourishment or at the hands of the Japanese.

"In exchange, they were promised benefits and citizenship. After the war ended, some laws were passed and they (government) said "thank you...but nevermind," Lopez explained. 

Agnes Lopez is taking her photographs around town and sharing these stories. She was invited to CSX to speak with employees about the project. 

She says you can request to have these photographs on display at your business or in a public setting. 

"This is American history," Lopez said. 

To learn more about "The Faces to Remember" project, click here

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