LET’S CELEBRATE VETERANS DAY HONORING CHINESE AMERICANS
LET’S CELEBRATE VETERANS DAY 2020
By Gerrye Wong November 6, 2020
November 11th is Veterans Day and this year, there is a special event happening that all of us, no matter where in the world, can participate and enjoy. Due to pandemic quarantine rules governing all of us, a special program will be presented on YouTube which will herald Chinese American servicemen and women who have participated in all United States wars since 1941.
WARRIORS IN OUR MIDSTS – A CHINESE AMERICAN VETERANS DAY RETROSPECTIVE will be aired for our pleasure on November 11, Veterans Day at 1pm – 2PM Pacific Standard time.
Executive Producer and Director Montgomery Hom has a deep passion for WWII history. As a young boy, he heard about the exploits of his uncle, who was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, jumping into Normandy on June 6, 1944. But this Veterans Day program will honor, for the first time, Chinese American veterans who have experienced conflicts in many wars. Montgomery and Ron Chan originally founded the CHINESE AMERICAN GI PROJECT to provide final honor to the senior veterans from WWII. However, to quote Chan, he said, “For too long, the story of the Chinese American Veterans has been silent, ignored or forgotten. What better day than Veterans Day to honor and thank Chinese American veterans for their service? This day is a natural point of pride for the Chinese American GI program to educate and inspire a new generation with the personal wartime experiences and contributions of the men and women who served, so that they will no longer be forgotten.”
This November 11 program will start off with a special visual presentation (directed by Montgomery Hom and Will Lee) of our veterans from WWII to present day. Veterans organizations such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) on both sides of the United States will kick off the event with a message titled: “Veterans to Veterans”. Major General Garret Yee, the highest ranking Chinese American in the US Army today, will deliver an official message in commemoration of this special day.
The bulk of the one hour program, to premiere on YouTube, will be hearing directly from 10 veterans, as old as 95 years old, telling of their backgrounds growing up as Chinese Americans as well as their wartime experiences.
Also leading off the Veteran tributes will be Ming-Na Wen, a celebrated actress of Hollywood films and TV shows such as Joy Luck Club, Mulan, The Agents of SHIELD, will share her father’s legacy of service during WWII.
Honored Chinese American men and women veterans sharing their personal stories of service in the US armed forces World War II – Arnold Jue and David Kong; Korean War – Calvin Wong and Ronald C. Won; Vietnam War – Joe Chan, Gar Yip, Carl Ching, William Chen; Desert Storm – Stuart Chan. Iraq War – Wilem Wong; Afghanistan – Alisha Chan, Jody Wang-Hom and Kendall Won.
These men and women will for the first time be given a platform to tell of their own personal Chinese experiences, also during wartime service and lastly, their inspirational message to future generations. One memorable quote given by a veteran said –“ We fought for your freedom. Don’t waste it.” Calvin Wong, US Army Veteran Korean War, Both Ron Chan and Montgomery Hom feel strongly that telling the stories of Chinese Americans who served in the wars is important to America’s history, which has for too long omitted these experiences in chronicling American history. They launched the Chinese American GI Project which has been very successful in completing their mission throughout the year 2020, and beyond.
Ron Chan, Associate Producer
In August 2020, they launched a major webinar titled: OPERATION: CHINESE AMERICAN GI. The following month, September, for the 75th anniversary of the ending of WWII, they launched: V75!
The World War II Chinese American Honor Event. In December, they will release a Retrospective WWII Book with over 140 Chinese American WWII Veteran stories. Plans for 2021 include the 20th Anniversary newly remastered Emmy nominated PBS documentary film by Montgomery Hom, “We Served With Pride”. A planned virtual exhibit from Hom’s private collection of Chinese American World War II artifacts often noted as the world’s largest private collection of such specialty items.
To recognize the scope of this project and the dedication of these two founders, this project has gained support from over two dozen museum, military and community organizations. Chief among these include the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Chinese Historical Society of America, Chinese Historical and Cultural Project of Santa Clara Valley, Chinese Historical Society of New England, Chinese American Museum (DC), Museum of Chinese in America (NY), among many others. Ron Chan (Executive Director), and the Bay Area Chinese Genealogy Group, have been key sponsors for all marketing aspects.
The founders are inviting all to watch their November 11th program, please join us to in recognizing our Chinese American Veterans.
WATCH THEM, HEAR THEM, HONOR THEM!
Registration is necessary to view the program. Register at: https://forms.gle/Cfju4zc2Ki3dnhXA49
Registration questions can be directed to email@example.com. A YouTube link for this program will be sent prior to the session to all registrants.
For more information on the Chinese American GI Project: https://chsa.org/wwii-chinese-american-gi/ or firstname.lastname@example.org