US Navy Celebrates Heritage Month
As announced April 17 by NAVADMIN 127/12, the Navy joins US nation in celebrating Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month throughout the month of May.
Navy commands are encouraged to reflect on the national 2012 theme, “Striving for Excellence in Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion” to increase their knowledge and awareness of the contributions Asians and Pacific Americans have made both to American history and to the Navy.
In 1977, then-President Jimmy Carter established the first official Asian and Pacific American Heritage Week during the first 10 days of May. The month of May was chosen to both commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese people to the United States May 7, 1843, and mark the anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad May 10, 1869. The majority of the individuals who laid the tracks on the first transcontinental railroad were Chinese immigrants.
Twelve years later, then-President George H.W. Bush extended the observance throughout the entire month of May. In 1992, the monthlong celebration was officially signed into law and named Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month.
“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have persevered and flourished, achieving success in every sector of American life,” noted President Barack Obama in his 2010 Presidential Proclamation. “They stood shoulder to shoulder with their fellow citizens during the civil rights movement; they have served proudly in US Armed Forces; and they have prospered as leaders in business, academia, and public service.”
Commands are strongly encouraged to increase their knowledge and awareness of the contributions of Asian and Pacific Americans to US Navy and nation by celebrating Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month through programs, exhibits, publications, and participation in military and community events.
Naval Today Staff , April 19, 2012; Image: navy