Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Proud to be Asian American

kdelevett
Employee
Employee

Last year, we introduced Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with facts and FUN trivia questions.   Today, I want to share a few words from our President:

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, 2008 A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Americans who trace their ancestry to Asia and the Pacific Islands have contributed much to our Nation. During Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, we highlight their importance to our great Nation.

Asian/Pacific Americans have made our country better with their talents and hard work. Their values and commitment to family and community have helped shape and strengthen America. These citizens speak many languages, honor countless traditions, and practice different faiths, but they are bound by a shared commitment to freedom and liberty. The diversity among Asian/Pacific Americans adds to the cultural fabric of our society.

Asian/Pacific Americans have enriched our culture, excelling in many fields, including education, business, science, technology, government, sports, and the arts. We especially honor those Asian/Pacific Americans who have answered the call to protect the cause of freedom by serving in our Armed Forces. These brave men and women set a powerful example for all Americans.

As we celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, we are reminded of the richness of the Asian and Pacific cultures. Asian/Pacific Americans enhance the American experience and contribute to our country's legacy of diversity. To honor the achievements and contributions of Asian/Pacific Americans, the Congress, by Public Law 102-450, as amended, has designated the month of May each year as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 2008 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. I call upon the people of the United States to learn more about the history of Asian/Pacific Americans and their many contributions to our Nation and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.

GEORGE W. BUSH

I am Vietnamese American.  For the majority of my life, I admit that I was ashamed of my heritage and denied anything that smelled, tasted, sounded or looked Vietnamese.  When I was two years old, I fled my motherland a few days before Saigon fell in 1975.  I was fortunate to arrive to the United States with my ten-year-old brother and three teenage cousins.  My brother and I were placed in foster homes and were later adopted into a Caucasian family and raised in a predominantly Caucasian community.  blog-mcnulty-kids.jpg

With my almond-shaped eyes, round face, and dark skin, I didn't want to look or be "different" from any of my blue-eyed, blonde-haired classmates.  Then in 1994, when I returned to Vietnam for the first time in almost 20 years, a miracle happened that would change my life forever - I not only found my long-lost extended family, but I also found my long-lost self!   Since that auspicious day, I have come into my own and have embraced my heritage and the many customs that I hope to pass to my unborn child.  I can identify with thousands of other Asian Pacific Americans who've lost their loved ones or have made extraordinary sacrifices for their families to succeed in America.   I am grateful for the many opportunities that I've been given throughout my life, and I'm also blessed to work for a Company that empowers me to reach out and to support the passions and issues that Asian Pacific American communities share throughout the country.

During the month of May, Southwest will be celebrating the many Asian Pacific American customs, accomplishments, and activities with you and will support various organizations and events across the country.  Those include Asian Pacific Islander American Vote, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and the 24th Annual Los Angeles Asian Film Festival to name a few.  We hope you and your families enjoy the many rich smells, sights, and sounds of all Asian Pacific American cultures during this exciting month!

14 Comments
Not applicable
I hope the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month of May helps remind and encourage other Asian American adoptees and other Asian Americans in general to seek out and understand the culture of one's ancestors. As Kim's journey demostrates, it is possible to reconcile western upbringings, ideals, and viewpoints with that of one's biologically given racial background.
Not applicable
Kim, It was nice reading about your family's history...We must all be proud of our family's history. As long as I have known you, I knew you were a Proud Asian American Women.
Not applicable
Thanks for your story, Kim! I think your experience can inspire others, particularly Asian-Americans, who might be feeling some confused around identity and expressing and exploring themselves. I can relate to being "other" growing up a Vietnamese immigrant in the US and conflicted by wide cultural and generational gaps in my family and community. I am blessed to have found a comfortable place in who I am - with my Vietnamese heritage, in my American home, and as a citizen of the world.
Faith_Bautista
Not applicable
I got an award recently for a "Big Heart Award" by Greenlining Institute, 700 guests were presents at least 100 fortune 500 corporations were represented as well as community leaders a well diversed group. On my speech, I told everyone that I am proud to be a filipino and this award goes to 4 million filipinos in this country. Asian came along way we have more to go but with the support of corporations like southwest, we will get there sooner than later. Kim, me too is proud to be an Asian, embarassed with my accent, height and being a woman, now I am proud to be called Filipino.
Michael_Chang
Not applicable
Hi Kim, You and your brother's story is so heart-wrenching and amazing at the same time. If you didn't let people know, who could have guessed? Makes me think about the experiences that many Vietnamese Americans must have gone through. Thanks so much for sharing. I am going to share with some APALI alums as I think they can really relate. warmly, Michael
sharbeson
Active Member
Kim- you are a beautiful person both inside and out and I'm proud to call you my friend!
grace_d__le
Not applicable
Hi Kim, I am glad to hear that you've finally embraced your identity as Vietnamese. Many young people struggle to find their self-identity and cultural roots in this complex and multicultural milieu, and I am one of them. Thank you for sharing your story. I am working on a paper titled, "Cultivating the Spirituality of Vietnamese Americans", and I was wondering since you've embraced your cultural ethnicity, did it help you to also grow spiritually? Again, thanks for sharing..
Michele5
Not applicable
Kim, thank you for being a champion for the Asian American community within Southwest, and thank you to Southwest for supporting the Asian American community! I loved hearing a bit about Kim's story; it reveals the complexity of us as individuals and as members of a larger community. Thanks, Kim, for sharing!
Anne_Im
Not applicable
Kim, your story is so moving that I had to respond. This is my first time ever posting on a blog! Like yours, I am sure that there are many untold stories about our Asian American history. Thanks for sharing your personal story with us, cherishing your heritage, and continuing to give back to the community.
Gary22
New Arrival
Strange to me that you would hide or be embarrassed by your heirtage. My first girlfriend's father was from Vietnam and one of the last people to be airlifted out since he worked with our beautiful country. Since then, I have never had a bad experience with the few Vietnamese Americans that I've met and allowed me to learn from. Mind you, you can't stereotype any individual, each is unique, and God made us that way. America is comprised of every American citizen. I am very happy when that individual brings their best to improve our country. I am very unhappy with the "Americans" that do despicable things that we see on the news. Me, I'm just a whitebread, born & raised citizen that people from other cultures typically are suspicious of because I do what is right. But guess what, people like me are the majority here. Good and true just because it's the right thing to do. Unfortunately you don't see us in the media and I haven't seen a "representative" that represents a 38 year old white guy who never owned a house nor married although I can afford the luxury and am respectable. We are here. And we open our arms to the people that our founding fathers wrote our constitution & bill of rights for. The Congress, Senate, and our next commander and chief need to get back to the basics. By the People. For the People. Etc, etc. etc.
Marcella
Not applicable
Hi Kim: I enjoyed meeting you in Washington D.C. I enjoyed your blog and reading about your background. What a fascinating story you have to tell! Keep in touch and don't forget to look me up when you are in L.A. Good luck in August when your baby is due.
kdelevett
Employee
Employee
To Craig, Gordon, Nga, Faith, Michael, Sally, Grace, Michele, Anne, Gary and Marcella: THANK YOU for taking the time to read my blog and to share your heartfelt comments with me. I've read each of them and was deeply touched by them too! I do hope that my story helps others to be proud of their heritage and family history, regardless of ethnicity (I agree with you Gordon!). Even though I had a good childhood, I really never felt comfortable in my own skin growing up. Finding my Vietnamese family allowed me to see my place in the bigger picture and grounded me on many levels. Feel free to share any additional thoughts; I love hearing from you! Happy Memorial Day Weekend! ;) Kim and Baby to Be
kdelevett
Employee
Employee
Hi Grace~ I'm sorry, I didn't address your question. Yes, I've grown spiritually as well. Thank you for asking! Good luck with your paper!
David20
Not applicable
Kim, thank you for sharing your story and spreading the word about Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. I am so glad you and Southwest Airlines can take time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions Asian/Pacific Americans make to strengthen our society and to make our Country so wonderful.