By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeffry Willadsen, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Everett
EVERETT, Wash. – Sailors, DoD personnel, and civilians celebrated Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a ceremony in the Grand Vista Ballroom on Naval Station Everett (NSE), May 29.
The event featured a static display on Asian and Pacific Island Culture, a guest speaker, and several performances and presentations.
Tyati Tufono, the Commissioner of Asian Pacific American Affairs for the State of Washington, the guest speaker for the event, said she has seen the number of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the military grow from 2.8% to 6.5%, making it one of the fastest growing minority groups.
“It shows that [Sailors] are embracing them as an individual … embracing where they come from, their background, how they were raised, and their culture.” she said. “I’m very, very proud to be here at Everett, and I’m looking forward to the next event.”
The presentations that took place during the event included tae kwon do demonstrations by members of the Everett branch of the American Tae Kwon Do Association, traditional music and dance performances by the Shen Yun Seattle dance group, and a presentation on Chinese and American music by composer Dr. Austin Huang.
Since 1992, May has been recognized by as National Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It is designed to celebrate the rich culture and history of Asian and Pacific Islanders, as well as recognize their great contributions to American society.
During the ceremony, Electronics Technician 2nd Class (SW) Ron Recaido, the master of ceremonies, shared his Filipino heritage by sharing the story of how his father joined the Navy, and rose to the rank of chief petty officer.
Recaido said that Sailors sharing their diverse cultural heritage is vital to the strength of the Navy and its leadership.
“We’re not only celebrating the Asian Pacific Islander heritage,” said Recaido. “We’re celebrating everyone’s cultural heritage.”
After the ceremony concluded, traditional Asian cuisine was served at Everett’s All-American Grill.