Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month honors service, luau

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 45th Space Wing Public Affairs
Asian American and Pacific Islander month occurs in May, nationally and within the Department of Defense.

During the month, many events are scheduled at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, to honor the devoted service and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, both past and present.

According to the Library of Congress, the commemoration of Asian-Pacific Americans began in 1978, when Congress passed a law directing President Jimmy Carter to issue a proclamation designating the week beginning May 4, 1979, as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week. Every year since, a presidential proclamation has been signed.

"When we talk about America's AAPI communities, we're talking about the industry and entrepreneurship of people who've helped build this nation for centuries: from the early days, as laborers on our railroads and farmers tilling our land, to today, as leaders in every sector of American life, from business to science to academia, law and more," said President Barack Obama at the AAPI Initiative executive order signing in 2009.

The signing reestablished the President's Advisory Commission and White House initiative on AAPI. Obama noted the proud tradition of service the AAPI provides America in military service worldwide.

Col. Robert Pavelko, 45th Space Wing vice commander also signed a proclamation last month.

While Team Patrick-Cape is locally commemorating the AAPI heritage month by celebrating with many events, there is one event in particular that Elsa Kekahuna is excited to share with the base populace and community members; the annual luau, scheduled for May 30, to include a culture show.

"On behalf of the entire committee, we are excited about educating the community on the many cultural diversities... that is our goal," said Kekahuna, Asian-Pacific Islander marketing manager. "The menu includes: kalua pork, mango cashew chicken, island fried rice, stir fry vegetables, fresh fruit and rolls."

Entertainment at the luau also includes dances featuring Fire Knife Dancer from Indonesian, Malaysian, and Polynesian Dancers.

The annual luau is held at the Beach House, 259 Highway A1A, Building 236, Patrick AFB and is open to the base populace and community members.

Tickets are: (club member: adult, $22 and child, 3-10, $12. Non-member: adult, $24; and child, 3-10, $14). For any related event questions, or to purchase a ticket, contact Kekahuna, 321-494-5675; Staff Sgt. Sarah Oh, 321-255-2566; Staff Sgt. Steven Marquis, 321-494-9450; Claudette Tapaoan, 321-494-4748; Equal Opportunity Office, 321-494-6333; or Staff Sgt. Michael Asuncion, 321-494-6668.

Some information in this article is attributed by