WASHINGTON – On Jan. 13, 1903, the first Korean immigrants arrived in Honolulu. Monday marked the 111th anniversary of this arrival.

Following are statements from members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) recognizing Korean American Day. The caucus consists of APA members of Congress as well as members whose constituents include APA communities.

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), CAPAC chair: “Today, we celebrate the indelible mark the first Korean American pioneers in Hawaii left on our country. From business to the arts, technology to public service, Korean Americans play a pivotal role in improving all aspects of American life. As chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I celebrate with Korean Americans all across the country and thank them for their vast contributions.”

Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), CAPAC vice chair: “I join Korean Americans throughout our country in celebrating Korean American Day and commemorating the 111th anniversary of the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States. Korean Americans have made many contributions to our nation, and they add to the richness and diversity of our country. I especially join the Korean American community in Guam, whose contributions have made Guam a more vibrant and spirited place to live.”

Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose), CAPAC chair emeritus: “Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to America on Jan. 13, 1903. For the past 111 years, Korean Americans have been vital to the fabric of this country. Today, nearly two million Korean Americans are making significant economic, cultural, and civic contributions to America. And, the warmth and feeling of family I have received from them, both in America and in my travels to Korea, has been greatly appreciated. As the congressman representing the 17th District of California, a district in which Korean Americans have played a critical role in our community and diversity, I am proud and honored to recognize these contributions.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “Korean American Day marks the 111 years since the arrival of the S.S. Gaelic carrying Korean families to Honolulu, launching the first wave of Korean immigration to the United States and its territories. Since that day on Jan. 13, 1903, Korean Americans have made significant contributions to the cultural fabric that makes up our country. Korean Americans have made a significant mark on Hawaii through their unique culture and have helped to power our state’s economy with hard work and a dedication to excellence. Mahalo to Korean American families for their continued contributions to Hawaii and our nation as a whole.”

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii): “In 1903, more than a hundred hopeful immigrants from Korea arrived in Hawaii in search of a better life. Today, through these immigrants’ hard work and determination, more than two million Korean Americans call the United States home and are part of every aspect of American life. As we celebrate Korean American Day, we honor the many contributions Korean Americans have made to our country. Their vibrant culture, hard work, and strong values have enriched our communities and have made Hawaii and America a diverse and special place.”

Rep. Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa): “On Jan. 13, 1903, over 100 men, women, and children traveling from the Korean Peninsula on the S.S. Gaelic made landing in Hawaii as the first Korean immigrants to the U.S. Over 100 years later, Korean Americans have established thriving communities across the nation. Countless Korean American have served and currently serve in our U.S. Armed Forces and are leaders in business, medicine, and government, just to name a few. As we reflect on their history today, we know, without a doubt, that our nation is stronger because of their contribution.”

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas): “In honor of Korean American Day, I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions of Korean Americans to our great nation. America’s diversity is what makes it great, and the vibrancy of the Korean American community has increased America’s greatness.”

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii): “Since their arrival in Hawaii in 1903, Korean Americans have continued to enrich our communities with their vibrant culture, entrepreneurial spirit, and hard work, adding to the rich fabric of diversity that strengthens our nation. Let us celebrate Korean American Day by recognizing the countless contributions Korean Americans have made to Hawaii and the U.S.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland): “I am honored to join in the celebration of the 111th anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States. The 13th District of California, which I proudly represent, has a thriving and vibrant Korean American community, whose accomplishments have made and will continue to make to our region, state, and nation great.”

Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.): “It is a tremendous honor to join the Korean American community in celebrating the 111th anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States. In 1903, the first Korean immigrants arrived in the U.S., and ever since that historic moment Korean Americans have played an integral role in the prosperity of America. The Korean community has contributed enormously to all aspects of our society; everything from strengthening our economy to improving our neighborhoods. I am honored to represent a thriving Korean American community in New York, and I’m proud to salute the vibrancy and accomplishments that Korean Americans have and will continue to make to our nation.”

Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-Northern Mariana Islands): “As the part of America closest to Korea, the Northern Mariana Islands has active and growing economic ties with this vibrant nation. And persons of Korean heritage, living in the Northern Marianas, continue to make valuable contributions to our society. The newest member of our judiciary is of Korean descent, but she is not alone in demonstrating the important role of Korea and the Korean community in the life of our islands. So, today, I join all my constituents and Americans throughout our nation, as we celebrate the 111th anniversary of the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.): “As a CAPAC member and co-chair of the Korea Caucus, I am proud to join my colleagues in recognizing Korean American Day.  In my Northern Virginia congressional district, Korean Americans are an integral part of our diverse community and they have contributed in so many ways to our region’s economic success and cultural offerings. A strong work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, and respect for excellence in education are a few of the many positive attributes that Korean Americans have brought to our nation.”

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach): “Today I join with all Americans in celebrating Korean American Day, which honors the many economic and cultural contributions that Korean Americans have made to our country. I am proud to represent the thriving Korean Business District in Garden Grove – a major economic hub in Southern California – and the thousands of Korean Americans who call California’s 47th Congressional District home.”

Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego): “I am proud to support and stand with the more than 20,000 Koreans and Korean Americans who live in San Diego as we celebrate Korean American Day. They are business owners, educators, scientists and civic leaders in neighborhoods across my district, and I applaud their many contributions to our nation. As a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I am proud to help represent this growing community in Washington, D.C. and look forward to our future work together to better San Diego.”

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.): “As a Korean War veteran, I have proudly witnessed South Korea’s rise as a war-torn nation to becoming the world’s 13th-largest economy, which has been largely driven by the resilience and industriousness of the Korean people. In America, Koreans have inspired us with their entrepreneurialism and perseverance toward building success and wealth for their families and communities. I’m proud to serve as honorary chairman of the Korea Caucus in Congress, and join my CAPAC colleagues in celebrating the milestone of our Korean American friends as we wish them continued triumphs for generations to come.”

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles): “As we celebrate Korean American Day, we recognize the tremendous contributions of Korean Americans to our nation. Korean Americans have enriched our communities through civic engagement and military service, through business ownership and local leadership. Today we celebrate our Korean American friends and neighbors and those who came before them.”

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Santa Ana): “Today we celebrate the invaluable contributions of the Korean American community. The Korean American spirit resonates in every facet of American life. From business, medicine, science, government and entertainment, Korean Americans enrich our culture and strengthen our economy. We are especially grateful for the Korean Americans who serve or have served in our Armed Forces. I am honored to represent the strong the Korean American community in the 46th District and I’m proud to join my fellow Americans in celebrating this important day.”

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.): “Korean American Day offers Washingtonians and all Americans the opportunity to celebrate the rich culture and achievements Korean Americans have shared with our state and our country.  An example of this is the 9th District of Washington State, where Korean Americans have made positive impacts on our community as business owners, community leaders, and members of our Armed Services. Today, I thank all Korean Americans for their incredible contributions to our nation.”

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo): “Korean Americans have strived hard to find success in this nation since first arriving here in 1903. As we recognize Korean American Day on Jan. 13, their contributions to this society are far-reaching, from serving in the military to business and job creation and their willingness to stand tall in the fight for U.S. immigration reform. I am proud to represent the Korean American community in the Bay Area as it continues to grow and prosper.”

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