The Honorable Congressman Raúl Grijalva
Congressman, Third District of Arizona
Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee
1511 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva,
On behalf of the Filipino American community, we pledge our full support and solidarity to Congresswoman Grace Meng’s (D-NY) request to hold a committee vote on a legislation that seeks to create the first national museum dedicated to preserving the history, culture, and accomplishments of our Asian Pacific Americans (APA) community.
This bill will provide an opportunity to remember the great sacrifices of our fellow Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). These great sacrifices and contributions to U.S. history are worth remembering. Contributions that are very much evident during these last few years of the COVID-19 pandemic. We would love to share two reasons why we support this bill.
American History is composed of the stories of AAPIs. For example, since landing at Morro Bay in 1587, Filipinos have shaped the fabric of our country with contributions to our infrastructure, economy, selfless military service, and so much more. From the “Manilamen,” a group of Filipino American sailors who fought alongside the U.S. in the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, to the Chinese Americans who fought for the Union at the Battles of Antietam and Gettysburg during the American Civil War, to the Japanese Americans who fought bravely during World War 2, to our modern-day AAPI healthcare heroes, this museum will provide an opportunity to be remembered and included in our very own American history. A history book in which we are almost always forgotten.
We also see this museum as a physical space located in the nation’s capital as a powerful image that can inspire our youngest to pursue their dreams. This will give us a chance to educate others about our rich AAPI history. A museum is a space where people can reflect on the past and be inspired for the future. We would love to share our long and storied history with the rest of the world. We desire our future generations to come to this museum and remember the challenges our community has overcome and inspire them about their great potential for the future.
On behalf of Filipino Americans, we hope and pray that you will grant us this great privilege and consider Congresswoman Meng’s request. As our country suffers from division, this is an opportunity to be united through history.
Brendan G. Flores
National Chair and President