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    TAHW 1999 - Taiwanese-American Heritage Week Statement from Clinton


May 23-29, 1999

President Clinton has designated the month of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. Henceforth, the month of May will call for a national celebration and commemoration of innumerable contributions that Asians and indigenous Pacific Islanders have made in American life. Accordingly, how one celebrates reflects the diversity of the distinct communities of Asian/Pacific Americans.

As Taiwanese-Americans, we designate that one week every May as Taiwanese-American Heritage Week during Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. This week will be dedicated to recognizing and appreciating several aspects of Taiwanese-American Heritage in the United States.

As a community, we have our share of heroes and heroines. They have enriched every aspect of our society with their talents, intellect, and activism. We celebrate the likes of artists, scientists, researchers, human rights defenders, and many others who have contributed to the social status of the Taiwanese and Taiwanese American today. We also remind ourselves that, through all these years, many people in our community risked their lives legitimizing their identity as Taiwanese Americans and promoting and advocating democracy on Taiwan. As a community, we should take their experiences as our precious heritage and enrich the Taiwanese culture here in the United States and everywhere else.

As a corollary to honoring what has been achieved, there is the need to discover and inquire about that remains to be tackled. While Taiwan has established a model democracy, there remains political issues that are uniquely Taiwanese. Gaining worldwide recognition of the legitimacy of Taiwan’s government and our people in paramount. With all that we have accomplished as both Taiwanese and Taiwanese-Americans, there can be no complete satisfaction until Taiwan's status and global contributions are respected and appreciated.

With President Clinton's proclamation of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, he has empowered all Asian and Pacific Americans to take an active part in the unique interests of our community and the Nation as a whole. As such, the stage is set for the promotion of Taiwanese-American Heritage Week. The celebration, however, begins within each individual upon reflection and understanding on one's roots. Thereafter, the enrichment continues as we share with others our heritage, and execute action plans that address what remains to be resolved and achieved.

In the spirit of Taiwanese determination and American volunteerism, we urge all to explore the significance of both Taiwan and being Taiwanese, and how that makes one an even better active American!

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