U.S.

May 11, 2012

May is Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month

by Alic Nelson
305th Air Mobility Wing Historian

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — May is Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

This year’s theme is “Striving for Excellence in Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion.”

Representatives Frank Horton and Norman Y. Mineta introduced a resolution to the House of Representatives in June 1977, calling upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian and Pacific Heritage Week. A month later, Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill to the Senate; Congress passed both bills.

President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution Oct. 5, 1978, designating the annual celebration. The holiday was expanded further in May 1990, when President George H. W. Bush designated May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

May was historically significant to Asians. The immigration of the first Japanese to the United States occurred on May 7, 1843 and May 10, 1869, marked the completion of the transcontinental railroad; built primarily by Chinese immigrants.

Additionally, Asian-Americans have fought on behalf of the United States since the War of 1812.

It is estimated that 12 to 20 thousand of all Chinese-American men served during World War II. Of those serving, about 40 percent were born overseas and unlike Japanese and Filipino Americans, 75 percent served in non-segregated units. A quarter of those served in the U.S. Army Air Force with some seeing action in the 14th Air Service Group and the Chinese-American Composite Wing in the Chinese Burma India Theater.

The first Asian-American general was Brig. Gen. Albert Lyman, who was part Chinese and Hawaiian American. He was followed by Rear Adm. Gordon Chung-Hoon, the first Asian American flag officer.

The United States military has had 43 Japanese Americans, 26 Chinese Americans, 10 Filipino Americans and four Korean American general flag officers serve.

The highest ranked of these is retired U.S. Army General Eric Shinseki. He served as Army Chief of Staff prior to his nomination as Secretary of Veterans Affairs by President Barack Obama on Dec. 7, 2008. His nomination was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on Jan. 20, 2009 and he was sworn in the next day.

Although Asian Pacific Islander Americans are 3.49 percent of the national population aged 18 to 24, they are about 9 to 10 percent of the classes of 2014 at West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Dangidang

Airman retires after 37 years of service

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Dangidang Chief Master Sgt. Karen L. Krause, 452nd Maintenance Operations Squadrons superintendent, receives a flag from a Blue Eagles Total Force Honor Guard member during her retireme...
 
 

Look past 1947 for Air Force roots

The Air Force officially turns 67 this month, but my Uncle Gino thinks it’s older. He’s 90 and the lone surviving brother of my father. Both of them served in World War II, as did two of their siblings. My father was in the Navy, as was his eldest brother, Europeo (his real name, I...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Pilots earned top honor for WW II actions

Courtesy Photo First Lt. Donald J. Gott and 2nd Lt. William E. Metzger Jr. of the 452nd Bombardment Group, were killed when their heavily damaged B-17 Flying Fortress exploded Nov. 9, 1944, as they raced to friendly territory i...
 

 

A reminder of our 24/7/365 responsibility to ourselves and each other

All Airmen have a responsibility that last much longer than a one-month campaign. This responsibility extends beyond ourselves and includes our work environment, our families, friends, fellow Airmen and our communities. While Suicide Prevention Month is observed across the United States in September, the month-long event is a reminder of everyone’s 24/7, 365-day responsibility to...
 
 
HBI-Web-Graphic

Online risk assessment offers ways to evaluate, improve health

How well do you know yourself? Poor health is not always obvious. Even people who appear healthy can be at risk for medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) Health Risk ...
 
 

Life is all about choices

Back when I lived in the rural Midwest, late September and October was harvest time for the farming communities. For many frantic weeks, farmers would be out in the fields from morning to night, trying to beat the first snowfall, gathering in the crops they had planted earlier that spring. In southwest Minnesota the harvest...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin