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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.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Day banner in Cleveland City Hall

Mona Alag, President of Federation of India Community Associations (FICA) served as the Mistress of Ceremonies.

Li Wnzhng of the Confucius Institute at CSU and Mona Alag

Li Wnzhng 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.

Cleveland JROTC Army students


The National Anthem was sung by Ms. Jasmine Jones, Captain JROTC Horizon Science Academy.

Jasmine Jones sings national anthem

Jasmine Jones


Pastor Grady Stevenson, Project Director of the Community Relations Board, gave the invocation.

Pastor Grady Stevenson, Project Director of the Community Relations Board

Pastor Grady Stevenson


Blaine Griffin, Executive Director of the Community Relations Board, gave some welcoming remarks and then introduced Mayor Frank Jackson.

Blaine Griffin, Executive Director of  the Community Relations Board

Blaine Griffin



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

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Le Nguyen

Le Nguyen speaking at City Hall

Le Nguyen

Le Nguyen called the grouyp together

Le Nguyen called the group together



Immigration Attorney and Author Margaret W. Wong offered remarks about Le Nguyen.

Margaret W. Wong

Margaret W. Wong

Margaret W. Wong, Mayor Jackson and Director Griffin

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

Lt. Colonel Joseph Meissner




Young Asian-American girl

Reach Forward

Ms. Gia Hoa Ryan, Director and Founder of the Friendship Foundation, spoke next.

Gia Hoa Ryan, Director and Founder of the Friendship Foundation

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

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

Lt. Colonel Joe Meissner, Mona Alag, Margaret Wong, Mayor Jackson, Blaine Griffin, Le Nguyen, Lisa Wong and Grady Stevenson

Li Wnzhng of the Confucius Institute at CSU and honoree Le Nguyen

Li Wnzhng of the Confucius Institute at CSU and honoree Le Nguyen

Jason and Le Nguyen with Blaine Griffin

Jason and Le Nguyen with Blaine Griffin

Asian Pacific Heritage Month celebration group in Cleveland



Page 2 of Asian Pacific American Heritage Day

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