Story and photo by Keiichi Adachi, FLEACT, Yokosuka Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan – U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) Yokosuka recognized Asian-American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month with an event held May 30, 2014.
More than 80 people, including U.S. military, civil service, Master Labor Contract (MLC) employees, family members, and friends and contractors assembled to observe an event hosted by the SRF-JRMC Heritage Committee.
Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage month celebrates and honors the accomplishments that generations of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have made throughout American history, society, and culture.
“Please take time to recognize the significant impact and sacrifices that Asian-Pacific Americans, especially those in the military, have made to contribute to the many liberties Americans and their allies now enjoy, the most important of which is freedom,” said the event’s guest speaker Cmdr. Assunta Lopez, who was born in the Philippines and is SRF-JRMC’s Waterfront Operations department head.
America is largely a nation of immigrants, she said, adding that immigrants from every corner of the globe come to America in search of a better life, better opportunities for themselves and their families.
“Asian-Pacific Americans have enriched our country beyond measure, in science, technology, education, medicine, arts, sports, fashion, business, government – and in our military,” she said.
Today, almost 113,000 Asian-Pacific Americans are serving in our active and reserve forces throughout the world, said Lopez.
The event consisted of several performances by SRF-JRMC employees and special guests, and concluded with a cake cutting overseen by SRF-JRMC’s Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Ballou.
“Thank you very much for coming to celebrate this event,” said Ballou. “I appreciate the contributions made by members of the Heritage Committee. Please keep up your efforts.”