The Alameda API Cultural Festival is an annual event that celebrates Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It draws attention and increases awareness of the numerous and diverse cultures that make up the Asian Pacific Islander community by presenting a variety of on-stage performances, activities, food and displays.
In conjunction with the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, The Coca-Cola Company, Honorary Chairperson Assemblymember Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, Comcast, Xfinity, Alameda Hospital, Chinese American Heroes organization and BART, the Alameda Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Festival will be honoring five API veterans who have distinguished themselves through their exemplary military service for our country. It will be the first public event of its kind throughout the Bay Area to recognize these veterans—all who have a connection to the Alameda community.
This year’s Keynote speaker will be Justice Ming W. Chin, currently an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court since his appointment by Governor Pete Wilson in 1996 and a highly decorated Captain in the United States Army.
Emcee of the honors program will be Brigadier General Garrett S. Yee, Deputy Commander for Mobilization Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.
The five honorees are Captain Moon Chin, whose heroic exploits as a WWII pilot included rescuing Lt. Colonel Jimmy Doolittle in 1942 from China after Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo; Shiro “Jug” Takeshita who served in the prestigious WWII 442nd Japanese American Regiment and liberated a holocaust camp in Europe although his family was still living in an internment camp stateside; local Alamedan Colonel Richard F. Hum, who briefed President John F. Kennedy on the Russian missile threat during the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis; US Army 1st Sergeant Eustaquio "Oliver" Valerio, who led men of one of the first Philippine Battalions while serving in the Pacific during WWII and Master Chief Felix R. Marquez Jr., who served 30 years in the USN, twice stationed at NAS-Alameda as an air traffic controller; and who later served as Assistant Air Port Manager at the air station until 1995. Personal possessions and historical material will be on display with video of the honorees courtesy of Chinese American Heroes with an autograph opportunity with Captain Moon Chin following the honors presentation.
Alameda Free Library is also kicking off the Alameda veteran’s oral history project. Alameda veterans with their families will be able to record a 30 minute video telling their own story of their military service and the impact at home then and now and has expanded its website to include an index for anyone wishing to further research the subject of American veterans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent: the impact of their military service and of our communities. This index includes public and private collections of literature, papers, documentary films, exhibits, oral histories, and other resources gleaned from the files of various historical societies, universities, museums, and other institutions from around the country.
The Festival will feature Encinal High School’s Color Guard, Lincoln Middle School’s Marching Band, remarks by key public officials and recognition of the youngest API members of our community just entering military service.
Cultural performances will demonstrate the diversity that is representative of Alameda and will include Vietnamese lion dance, Thai dance, Korean drumming, Indian music, Japanese folk dance, Polynesian ukulele and Filipino martial arts.
For more information: http://apifestival.weebly.com/index.html