Mayor Joe DePinto signed a proclamation to honor Friday, Jan. 13 as Korean-American Day in Yelm during the Yelm City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
The mayoral proclamation in part read “on Jan. 13, 1903, 102 Korean-American immigrants arrived in Hawaii as laborers for a sugar plantation, initiating the first large wave of Korean immigration to America.”
The proclamation added the second large wave of Korean immigrants occurred during the Korean War. The immigration wave consisted of Korean students, businessmen, orphans and wives of American soldiers.
“Korean Americans of all generations and immigrants have made significant contributions to the economic vitality to the United States, and will continue to make great contributions to our nation, country, and City of Yelm,” DePinto said while reading the proclamation.
During the meeting, DePinto highlighted some of the Korean-American Day’s history, which included when President George W. Bush issued the Centennial Korean Immigration proclamation to the United States to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States. He also recognized the contributions that Korean-Americans continue to bring to the country’s cultural diversity, economic strength and heritage.
DePinto added that in 2007, then-Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire signed SB 5166 into law to officially designate Jan. 13 of each year as Korean-American Day in Washington state.
“Now therefore be resolved that I, Joe DePinto, proclaim Jan. 13, 2023, as Korean American day to honor and celebrate the many contributions made by Korean-Americans throughout our vibrant community,” DePinto said. “I encourage other businesses, organizations, public institutions and community members to recognize Korean-American Day, and take time to learn about Korean-American history.”
According to the Korean Economic Institute, the United States Senate and House passed resolutions by unanimous consent to express their support for their dream of what Korean-American Day could become.
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