By Maranda FlynnMay 24, 2013
Fort Huachuca, Az. - The Fort Huachuca Military Equal Opportunity Office and the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, or USAICoE, hosted an Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Observance at Thunder Mountain Activity Centre, May 21, to recognize the accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in American history.
In 1978, Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution to designate the first week of May as Asian American Heritage Week. In 1992, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and it was officially titled Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
In his proclamation, President Barack Obama said, "Each May, our nation comes together to recount the ways Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders helped forge our country … their story is the American story, and this month, we honor them all."
The 2013 theme is "Building Leadership: Embracing Cultural Values and Inclusion."
During his opening remarks, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Joe Okabayashi, USAICoE, said, "We encourage and allow people to step forward and take lead in their lives and endeavors that are larger than the individual. We are the one true melting pot of the world. And at times, that blending process has been, and can be, painful. But in the end, especially in today's times, we strive for inclusion."
Following the invocation given by Chaplain (Capt.) Taylor Kim, 305th Military Intelligence Battalion, and the singing of the National Anthem, by Buena High School students, a taekwondo martial arts presentation was provided by Hubble Masters Academy, Sierra Vista.
Introducing his young students, Tony Hubble, Hubble ATA owner, said, "These are my students here today and I feel that we fit this theme of leadership appropriately because that is what we do at Hubble ATA -- we train leaders."
The guest speaker for the event was Clyne Namuo, department chair for Information Systems, Cochise College. Namuo comes from Honolulu. He said, "If someone takes an interest in Hawaii, or the Hawaiian language, or is simply asking me where they should go the next time they are in Hawaii, I take an interest right back.
"For those of you who have moved away, and through moving away have grown closer to your culture, welcome those who take an interest in your culture."
The observance ended with an ethnic food sampling, consisting of foods from various Asian American and Pacific Island cultures.