Vietnamese Cultural Garden Groundbreaking 711 Dr Martin Luther King Boulevard, Cleveland May 30, 2020
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens are a collection of ethnic heritage gardens in Rockefeller Park in Cleveland Ohio. Over 30 nationalities are represented with about 15 more coming soon. The Vietnamese community of Cleveland hosted a groundbreaking event on the site of the Vietnamese Cultural Garden on May 30, 2020. Because of the Covid-19 virus, masks were worn and social distancing was practiced.
Friendship Foundation of American Vietnamese leader Joe Meissner introduced the ceremony and then president of the Foundation Gia Hoa Ryan gave her remarks.
Gia Hoa Ryan with model of statue
This was followed by the singing of a Vietnamese anthem, the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Singing a Vietnamese anthem
Singing the National Anthem
The Pledge of Allegiance
NOTE: The 3 images below with a white arrow in the middle are videos. (The other images are just photos) You can click on the white arrow to watch the video of whatever is described. Make sure your speakers are on and you can make the video full screen once it begins by clicking the icon in the lower right corner.
A number of people gave brief remarks to show their support for the project. First was Judge Marilyn Cassidy.
Judge Marilyn Cassidy
Next was Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone
Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone
Next was Dr. Wael Khoury, President of the Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation
Dr. Wael Khoury
Next was Brunswick Mayor Ronald Falconi
Mayor Ronald Falconi
Then Karen & Kirsten Pianka from Judge Ray Pianka's Family
Kirsten and Karen Pianka
Next was David Thi, Vice-Chair of the Vietnamese Cultural Garden
Next was Vietnam Veteran and Veteran Community Leader Sean Ennis.
Next was Ken Kovach, Chair of ICC-WIN.
Next was Pierre Bejjani, CAMEO Chair and Middle Eastern leader
Next was Asim Datta from the Indian community
Next was Attorney Joseph Volpe.
Next was Lori Ashyk, Executive Director of the Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation.
Next was Charlene Crowley, Vietnamese Garden Designer.
Next was Aklilu Demessie, Ethiopian Garden Delegate
Next was Dan Hanson of ClevelandPeople.com.
Lithuanian Consul Ingrida Bublys spoke last.
Romas and Ingrida Bublys
Watch this video with all the speeches.
Attorney Joseph Meissner gave final thoughts and a closing prayer.
Then the ceremonial groundbreaking took place as participants lined up with their shovels a safe distance away from each other.
Watch the video of the closing remarks and groundbreaking.
Enjoy these other images from this important and historic event.
Vietnamese Cultural Garden groundbreaking
Mayor Ron Falconi
Matt Zone and Sean Ennis
Joe Meissner and Gia Hoa Ryan
CAMEO representatives and Lori Ashyk
Plans for the Vietnamese Cultural Garden
Gia Hoa Ryan
Model of the statue that will be in the Vietnamese Cultural Garden
Congratulations to the Friendship Foundation, Vietnamese community of Cleveland and especially Joseph Meissner and Gia Hoa Ryan on having their dream coming to fruition for the benefit of the entire community.
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