Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that on May 5, 2004 as Vice-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) he joined with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Chairman Mike Honda in sponsoring a salute to Asian and Pacific Islander Veterans and current service members.
“Congresswoman Pelosi is the Minority Leader, or highest Ranking Democrat, in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congresswoman Pelosi is also the only woman in the history of the United States to serve as House Minority Leader,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “She has blazed new trails for women and I am pleased to serve with her and I am proud to count her as one of my dearest friends.”
“I am also pleased that Democratic Leader Pelosi joined with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) in sponsoring a salute to our Asian and Pacific Islander veterans and current service members in commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The event was held in the United States Botanic Garden Conservatory at the base of the U.S. Capitol Building.”
“In attendance and honored for their service were Yeiichi Kelly Kuwayama (Member of the 442nd in WWII), Nicole Reinhardt (Operation Iraqi Freedom), and Gomercindo Bondad, a Filipino who served as a Scout in WWII. Asian and Pacific Islander veterans, past and present, were also honored and remembered. All were commended and saluted for serving our nation with courage and honor.”
“In further commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and on Thursday May 6, 2004, CAPAC joined with the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) to announce the establishment of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund was established by a coalition of corporate and national community leaders and is a new organization solely devoted to the financial scholarship needs of Asian and Pacific Islander American students,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“On Thursday evening, APAICS also invited me to attend its 10th Annual Gala Dinner where we honored U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta, U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, and the Honorable Gary Locke, the first Chinese American to be elected as a Governor in the United States. APAICS asked me to include a welcome letter in its program brochure and I was pleased to recognize the remarkable service of Secretary Mineta, Secretary Chao, and Governor Locke.”
“As we continue to celebrate Asian Pacific American heritage, I am hopeful that President Bush will announce his new White House Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The Commissioners term expired last year and as Vice-Chair of CAPAC I am working closely with my Republican and Democratic colleagues to encourage the Administration to reestablish another Commission. I am hopeful that this may happen during the month of May as this month is the most appropriate month to honor the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”
“Also, in anticipation of our local celebrations, I want to again extend my personal regards to American Samoa’s veterans for the heroic sacrifices they have made for us. I also want to pay special tribute to our current service members who are serving our nation in a time of war. I thank them for their service to our country. I support their efforts to end terrorism and I join with you in praying for their safe return. May God bless them and may God bless America,” the Congressman concluded.
Members of Congress are lining up at a press conference inside the United States Botanic Garden to honor and pay tribute to veterans and current service members in commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The press conference was cosponsored by CAPAC and Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Photo 1: (l-r) Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN), Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA), Congressman Faleomavaega (AS), and Congressman Mike Honda (CA)
Photo 2: (l-r) Congressman Robert Matsui (CA), Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN), Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA), Congressman Faleomavaega (AS), and Congressman Mike Honda (CA).
Photos: Solomona Aoelua