War and Peace: APA Program
The Fourth of July is a patriotic holiday in this country. Firecrackers, cookouts, and celebration of war veterans are traditional. As members of the larger American community, Asian Pacific Americans often celebrate the Fourth in these ways as well.
However, because many of us come from countries where war left a deadly toll throughout the twentieth century, we want to remind our fellow Americans that peace also is important. In fact, we best honor our veterans and our current troops when we strive for peace, not perpetual war.
The APA program on July 4th features a full day of martial arts demonstrations. Tae Kwon Do (Korea), Kali Eskrima (Philippines), Bando (Burma), Mongolian wrestling, and martial arts traditions from other countries will be on display on the Asian Fusions performance stage. Meanwhile, on the Talkstory stage, we will hear from Edward Chow (the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs for the State of Maryland), marine Bruce Yamashita, WWII vets Terry Shima and Grant Ichikawa, and Laura Chin (talking about her dad and other Chinese American WWII vets).
From 11:45 to 12:30, a panel will explore “Multiracials and the Legacy of War.” It will be followed by a panel on “Peace and Healing: Integrating Asian and European Medical Traditions.” Finally, two panels will be devoted to Spark Matsunaga, the United States Senator from Hawai’i who fought bravely in World War II but then devoted his life to peace. He was a galvanizing force behind the creation of the United States Institute of Peace in D.C. and the Matsunaga Institute for Peace in Honolulu. We will be honored by the presence of Richard Solomon, the head of the U.S. Institute of Peace, and Judy Brubaker, principal of the Matsunaga Elementary School in Germantown, Maryland, so please join us!
Phil Tajitsu Nash is the curator of the Asian Pacific Americans program at the 2010 Folklife Festival.