Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that at the invitation of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Headquarters in Washington, D.C., he joined members of the U.S. Coast Guard on May 12, 2011 to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this year.
Welcoming the Congressman to USCG Headquarters were Vice Admiral Sally Brice O’Hara, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard; Rear Admiral Rabago, Assistant Commandant for Engineering and Logistics; and Ms. Giao Phan, Deputy Director of Acquisition.
The theme of this year’s event was “Leadership, Diversity, Empowerment, and Beyond” and the emcees were Lieutenant Commander Michael Sharp and Lieutenant Jocelyn Soriano, Co-chairs of the Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Group at the USCG Headquarters.
As keynote speaker, the Congressman acknowledged and called attention to the history of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and most importantly the contributions by Asian and Pacific Americans to the success of our nation.
“It was indeed an honor for me to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with members of the U.S. Coast Guard. As most of our Samoan people know, members of the Coast Guard were among the first responders to the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in American Samoa in September 2009. With the most recent earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, many Coast Guard personnel have also been deployed overseas to assist in the relief efforts,” Congressman Faleomavaega stated.
“The U.S. Coast Guard has a long history of service to our people in American Samoa that dates back several decades. A couple of our own prominent leaders, the late Paramount Chief Letuli Toloa of Iliili, and the late High Chief Mata’utia Tuiafono Paepaega of Afono, both retired after serving for many years in the U.S. Coast Guard. Paramount Chief Letuli was formerly President of the Senate and High Chief Mata’utia was formerly Speaker of the House and served as Senator as well.”
“As many federal agencies and military installations gather to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this year, I thank the Coast Guard for their leadership and service in American Samoa and throughout the Asia-Pacific region,” the Congressman added.
“I would like to thank the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters for the kind invitation extended to me to participate in this year’s celebration. It was a pleasure to take part in such a wonderful event that highlighted the diversity and beauty of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures. I thank Vice Admiral O'Hara, Rear Admiral Rabago, and Deputy Director Phan for hosting this special event,” Congressman Faleomavaega stated.
“I also would like to acknowledge Chief Warrant Officer William Ernestburg and Lieutenant Daniel Lee, who is from American Samoa, for their assistance and the entire Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Group for highlighting the beautiful cultures of Asia and the Pacific during this year’s celebration,” the Congressman concluded.