Asian Pacific American Heritage Day Cleveland City Hall Rotunda May 17, 2012
Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution in 1978 to commemorate Asian American Heritage Week during the first week of May. This date was chosen because two important anniversaries occurred during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in America on May 7, 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (by many Chinese laborers) on May 10, 1869.
In 1990 Congress voted to expand it from a week to a month long celebration and in May 1992, the month of May was permanently designated as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. In Cleveland a celebration was held on May 17, 2012.
Mona Alag, President of Federation of India Community Associations (FICA) served as the Mistress of Ceremonies.
Liú Wénzhèng of the Confucius Institute at CSU and Mona Alag
The Colors were presented by JROTC Army students under the direction of 1st Sergeant David A. Takacs.
The National Anthem was sung by Ms. Jasmine Jones, Captain JROTC Horizon Science Academy.
Pastor Grady Stevenson, Project Director of the Community Relations Board, gave the invocation.
Pastor Grady Stevenson
Blaine Griffin, Executive Director of the Community Relations Board, gave some welcoming remarks and then introduced Mayor Frank Jackson.
Mayor Jackson gave a proclamation of appreciation to Le Nguyen, Asian Liaison, City of Cleveland Community Relations Board.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Le Nguyen
Le Nguyen called the group together
Immigration Attorney and Author Margaret W. Wong offered remarks about Le Nguyen.
Margaret W. Wong
Margaret W. Wong, Mayor Jackson and Director Griffin
Next Lt. Colonel Joseph Meissner spoke about the 3 Reaches. He told the crowd to Reach Back to those who paved the way, Reach Forward to the children and Reach Out to Everyone.
Lt. Colonel Joseph Meissner
Ms. Gia Hoa Ryan, Director and Founder of the Friendship Foundation, spoke next.
Gia Hoa Ryan
The evening concluded with musical performances (see page 2) and delicious food. Congratulations to Le Nguyen for his years of service. He deserves the honors received.
Jason Nguyen with father Le Nguyen
Lt. Colonel Joe Meissner, Mona Alag, Margaret Wong, Mayor Jackson, Blaine Griffin, Le Nguyen, Lisa Wong and Grady Stevenson
Liú Wénzhèng of the Confucius Institute at CSU and honoree Le Nguyen