By Spc. Durwood Blackmon, 25th ID PAOJune 5, 2008
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS - Representing an immense collection of languages, cultures and heritage Asian - Pacific Americans symbolize a diverse and extensive segment in the United States rich history both past and present.
In honor of Asian-Pacific Heritage Month family, friends and honorary guest gathered at the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team's F-Quad for an observance celebration, May 29th.
The theme for this year's ceremony encompassed leadership, diversity, harmony and gateway to success.
This years event included performances by local artists such as Tilamo, Essence of Polynesia, Roy Sakuma and Nicholas Acosta; and Kenny Endo-Lion Dance & Taiko which entertained crowds of onlookers.
In addition to artistic talent a special guest speaker made an appearance at the observance.
Harvard-Educated leader and former star athlete Mayor Mufi Hannemann for the City and County of Honolulu spoke to those present at the ceremony about the importance of diversity and leadership.
"This Samoan American mayor standing before you today is the first native born mayor in over 40 years." Hannemann continued, "What does this say' It says we respect people from all walks of life from different ethnic backgrounds. It says we live the creed of Martin Luther King that people shouldn't be judged by the color of their skin but be judged by the content of their character; and that is what makes us special and unique."
During the ceremony Mayor Hannemann also praised both the importance of ethnic multiplicity but also the role of our countries military for their involvement in the local community, its ethnic diversity, and service to nation.
"Through it all we have embraced diversity. Through it all we have been able to see that when people work together, when they pull together, good things happen; and the military is an excellent example of that. When you come from different parts of the United States you represent different ethnic extractions; but at the end of the day your goal is to keep our country safe, secure, and work together in that regard. I am proud of the fact we live in the greatest country in the world," said Hannemann.
Providing a dynamic range of ethnicities Asian-Pacific Americans have contributed greatly to the successes of our nation and continue to progress the future development of our society. Their service in both past and present conflicts, including the Global War on Terror, is a tribute to their resolve and involvement in the landscape of American tradition.
For more information on Asian-Pacific Americans in the military please visit the U.S. Army website: http://www.army.mil/asianpacificsoldiers/index.html