KMC Asian Pacific Americans celebrate heritage in May

Senior Airman Kerry Solan-Johnson
Kaiserslautern American

Quick, name five notable Asian Pacific Americans.
Having trouble?

If a few names like Ann Curry, “Today Show” host; Maya Lin, Vietnam memorial designer; M. Night Shyamalan, film director and screenwriter; Gen. Eric Shinseki, U.S. Army Chief of Staff; or Tiger Woods, golf pro; didn’t come to mind, then May is the month to take note of.

Throughout May, Asian Pacific American Heritage Association will celebrate with festivals and educational programs to honor the achievements of Asian Pacific Americans.

“Everyone is welcome; we want to share what the Asian Pacific Americans have done for the country,” said Master Sgt. Richard Ryan, APAHA member. “We want to share our customs and show people what we’re all about.”
Asian Pacific Americans are made up of more than 24 ethnic groups and speak different languages. Some of the groups include Filipino, Cambodian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian and Vietnamese.

Many of the events will reflect the diversity of Asian Pacific Americans, such as story telling at the Ramstein Library, cultural expo and food tasting, said Sergeant Ryan.

May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

Call Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Rodrin, APAHA chairman at 480-5499 or Tech. Sgt. JoAnne Bass, co-chairman, at 480-5664 for details about heritage month events.