Alameda County, California – This year marks the 80th Anniversary of the Flying Tigers, a group of several hundred pilots, mechanics and engineers who provided China with air defense against Japan during the second World War. On November 13, 2021, CC Yin, Joe Johal, and Simon Pang, board members of API Public Affairs (APAPA) Asian Pacific American Islander Public Affairs, a national nonprofit organization, supported and were among the honorees on the U.S.S. Hornet Museum during the Opening Ceremony to recognize the courage and sacrifice of these American volunteers in the Flying Tigers.
Other guests included General Ronald Folgleman, USAF (retired), and the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco. Yang Shao, Vice Mayor of Fremont, Jeff Greene, David Haubert Alameda County Supervisor, and former US Congressmember Mike Honda.
The photo and plane exhibition on the U.S.S Hornet Museum highlighted the shared American and Chinese history and legacy from the second World War. During the Opening Ceremony, the speakers reflected upon the strength and partnership between the countries, and within the United States to current times. “This is about a bond and friendship which has been born of sacrifice of those who came before us. Let us remember why we are here, to honor, remember and to move forward,” shared former Congressmember Mike Honda. Simon Pang and Jeff Greene thanked the hosting organizations, the Sino-American Aviation Heritage Foundation and Friendship City Association, and the US-Sino Friendship Association. They invited CC Yin, to speak, and CC wiped away tears as he reflected upon his childhood in China, “My family was scared and scattered- nowhere to go. I was only 7 years old and relied on many to provide a safe place to sleep, but I remember the hardship and the fear. The war caused such loss – I didn’t see my older brother James for nearly 30 years due to the war. We are so very grateful to these courageous pilots who came to help another country in need, saving millions of lives.” CC added, “Our countries must build on this legacy to establish trust and continue that friendship.”
Moving forward to current times, we really are one people here in this country. So many stories of outstanding citizens who were once immigrants coming to this country. “The past reminds us to focus on the best direction for our future. We really are one people. Asian Americans were among those who volunteered to serve our country and are proud immigrants arriving to this country to be part of the great fabric of our nation. During this incredibly difficult past year, we cannot be divided by hate crimes or racial profiling policies against our community. We are one people, and we are all part of the great legacy of the Flying Tigers and those who came before us.” said Joe Johal, API Public Affairs (APAPA) National Governing Board Member.
API Public Affairs (APAPA) Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs is a national nonprofit organization with over 36 chapters across the country, and more chapters developing every year. Together, we are establishing a stronger community that is a diverse, inclusive, and with representation from all voices and communities.