SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- SAN DIEGO - Commander, U.S. Third Fleet (C3F) held an Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month observance at C3F headquarters May 23, recognizing the contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to the nation and to the Navy.
The theme this year is "Striving for Excellence in Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion."
"The Navy is better because of diversity," said Chief Yeoman Nora Villasenor, lead coordinator and master of ceremonies for the observance. "Everybody has something special to offer."
C3F's Multi-Cultural Committee, Chief Petty Officer Association, First Class Petty Officer Association, White Hat Association, Moral Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Committee and Officer Wardroom came together to fund, organize, and produce the observance.
"I'm really impressed with how every association took part in learning and sharing about unfamiliar cultures," said Third Fleet White Hat Association President, Legalman 2nd Class Alahnna Taylor.
During the observance, each association represented different Asian-Pacific Islander cultures. Participants hand crafted displays, decorated booths, served a variety of food, and played traditional music.
Members of each association also displayed traditional clothing from the various cultures represented during the observance. Villasenor shared with the audience information about the lives a few of the many Americans of Asian-Pacific Islander heritage who have impacted the Navy through their service.
Commander, U.S. Third Fleet Vice Adm. Gerald R. Beaman echoed the value of a diverse Navy. "We all come from different walks of life," he said. "It's what makes America unique and our culture stronger."
Oct. 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution designating the annual celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage week. Twelve years later, President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making it into a month-long celebration.
U.S. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line.
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