The 4th CMMC Hosts Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Story by Pfc. Fabian Ortega
13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office

The 4th Corps Material Management Center hosted the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Celebration at Palmer Theater May 25, in observance of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

Members of the Cultura Filipiniana dance group opened up the day's celebration with traditional Filipino dances, followed by dojo and weapons demonstrations by the American Impact Martial Arts Academy.

Cultura Filipiniana also provided a collection of Filipino display objects while mistress of ceremonies, Capt. Suzi Cozuki, of 4th CMMC HHC, provided static displays symbolic of the Japanese culture, a mother pearl dragon and tiger, along with ceremonial Komodo dragons.

The celebrations ended with guest speaker Frank Lin a Japanese-American, who owns and operates a sushi bar at the Clear Creek commissary. He spoke of American's misconception of the famed Japanese dish, sushi.

"I don't know how many people think sushi is raw fish. The minute people say they don't eat sushi because it's raw fish, I start educating what sushi is," said Lin. "Sushi simply means vinegar rice. We can put raw or cooked fish and it still makes sushi."

"We have 700 people in attendance today, so I don't ever want hear sushi is raw fish," and on that note, Lin ended his oration to a round of applause and laughter.

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month- a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Much like Black History and Women History celebrations, Asian- Pacific American Heritage month originated in a congressional bill.

In 1977, representatives introduced a house resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first 10 days of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage week.

The following month, senators introduced similar bills to the senate. Both were passed.

In 1978, Pres. Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution designating the annual celebration.

In 1990, the holiday was expanded, President George. H. W. Bush designated May to be Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843 and to mark the anniversary of completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.

The day's events culminated when 13th Corps Support Command commander, Brig. Gen. James E. Chambers recognized the participants with plaques.

The theme for this year's celebration was Liberty and Freedom for All.