PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Chung-Hoon were at the New Empress Restaurant here Sept. 26 for a reception hosted by the local Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
The Sailors were invited to mingle with members of the Chinese community and celebrate the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer's namesake, Rear Adm. Gordon Pa'eia Chung-Hoon, and his Chinese and Hawaiian ancestry.
"I thought it was wonderful," said Chung-Hoon Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW) Angelina Lamb. "I really enjoyed the Lion Dance," recounted the Conroe, Texas, native. "The Chamber of Commerce's event made us all feel very welcome. For me, it's an honor and a privilege serving aboard a ship named after such a great man."
Many in Hawaii's Chinese community respect Chung-Hoon for his leadership.
"Adm. Chung-Hoon was a very distinguished man," said Hin Chiu Lau, a lifetime member of the Chinatown Merchant Association, part of the Chamber of Commerce that put together the celebration. "He is a great example of Chinese and Hawaiian leadership in the world."
The celebration welcoming the Sailors into the local family included music by Guang Zhong Chinese Music Club, traditional Chinese lion dancers and Chinese dancers. The music club also performed Anchor's Aweigh both in Chinese and in English.
"The celebration the Chinese Chamber of Commerce hosted for us was beyond anybody's expectations," said Cmdr. Kenneth Williams, Chung-Hoon's commanding officer. "I mean, we're all just Sailors on a ship doing our duty. We're just privileged to be assigned to USS Chung-Hoon."
Williams said he and his crew are mindful of the naval heritage they are upholding and the new traditions they are building aboard the Navy's newest ship.
"Everything you hear, everyone you talk to kind of reinforces the fact that Chung-Hoon was an officer and a gentleman, a true sea warrior," he said. "Those are big shoes to fill. We understand we're Hawaii's destroyer, so our goal is not to disappoint anyone. We're doing our best every day."
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