Today marks 110 years since the first Korean immigrants arrived in the U.S. (see keia.org). In 2005, the U.S. House and Senate named January 13 Korean American Day.
Here’s the resolution (S. RES. 283) by the 109TH CONGRESS on December 16, 2005 …
Recognizing the contributions of Korean Americans to the United States and encouraging the celebration of ‘‘Korean American Day’’
Whereas on January 13, 1903, the arrival of 102 pioneer immigrants to the United States initiated the first chapter of Korean immigration to the United States;
Whereas members of the early Korean American community served with distinction in the Armed Forces of the United States during World War I, World War II, and the conflict in Korea;
Whereas in the early 1950s, thousands of Koreans, fleeing from war, poverty, and desolation, came to the United States seeking opportunities;
Whereas Korean Americans, like waves of immigrants to the United States before them, have taken root and thrived as a result of strong family ties, robust community support, and countless hours of hard work;
Whereas the contributions of Korean Americans to the United States include the invention of the first beating heart operation for coronary artery heart disease, development of the nectarine, a 4-time Olympic gold medalist, and achievements in engineering, architecture, medicine, acting, singing, sculpture, and writing;
Whereas Korean Americans play a crucial role in maintaining the strength and vitality of the United States-Korean partnership;
Whereas the centennial year of 2003 marked an important milestone in the now more than 100-year history of Korean immigration; and
Whereas the Centennial Committees of Korean Immigration and Korean Americans have designated January 13th of each year as ‘‘Korean American Day’’ to memorialize the more than 100-year journey of Korean Americans in the United States: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) supports the goals and ideals of a ‘‘Korean American Day’’;
(2) commemorates the 103rd anniversary of the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States; and
(3) encourages the people of the United States to—
(A) share in such commemoration in order to greater appreciate the valuable contributions Korean Americans have made to the United States; and
(B) to observe ‘‘Korean American Day’’ with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
On Friday, members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released statements recognizing Korean American Day.
According to 2010 U.S. Census data, Asians comprised 5.6% of the U.S. population (representing 46% growth from 2000 to 2010). Among Asians, Koreans are the fifth largest group, making up 0.5% of total U.S. population (Korean population grew 28.1% from 2000 to 2010). See Korean American Coalition for more stats.
In The United Methodist Church, there is The United Methodist Council on Korean American Ministries, which exists for the purpose of strengthening Korean ministries. Our new bishop, Jeremiah Park, serves on the board.
Speaking of our bishop, Bishop Park was the bishop of the New York Annual Conference before coming to Pennsylvania last September. When we went to Korea to get Ethan in 2008, it was Bishop Park (via Bishop Middleton) who put us in contact with a friend of his, the pastor of Holy Flames Methodist Church. We mentioned Bishop Park in our first cross-cultural experience post five years ago. We got to personally thank Bishop Park a few months ago when we met him. The kids will get to meet him next week at the Bishop’s Retreat.
For us, Korean American Day is another opportunity to celebrate God’s blessings on our family!