HomeMain SliderSouth Asians For America Participates in AAPI Salute to Honor Veterans at Arlington National Cemetery

South Asians For America Participates in AAPI Salute to Honor Veterans at Arlington National Cemetery

South Asians For America Participates in AAPI Salute to Honor Veterans at Arlington National Cemetery

Gold Star parent Khizr Khan spoke to the group on diversity and protection of democratic values in the wake of the recent SCOTUS rulings.

India-West Staff Reporter

WASHINGTON, DC – Asian American and Pacific Islander fallen service members and veterans were honored by, at Arlington National Cemetery on June 26.

The annual event included a ceremonial wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier dedicated to AAPI fallen service members, followed by a walk of reflection to the tombstone of Pakistani American U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in action during the Iraq War.

 “It is a privilege to have an opportunity to formally recognize and thank those who have served and sacrificed for our country,” said Neha Dewan, National Director of South Asians for America, a partner organization for the event. “As an increasing number of individuals from our community choose to serve their country, this event is an opportunity to also recognize them and express our pride for what they have accomplished.”

Guests of honor who participated in the ceremonial wreath-laying included Gold Star parent of Captain Khan, Khizr Khan, who rose to national acclaim after speaking at the 2016 DNC National Convention.

Following the ceremony, the group visited Captain Khan’s memorial marker in Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery to pay their respects, where Khan spoke. “You will see that the tombstones here reflect the diversity of America,” Khan said, as a reflection of the diversity of those who have served. “Humayun, from a very early age, became fully convinced that service to the nation is the highest honor. When I look at our patriots in uniform, it convinces me that our future is brighter because of their service, and their families’ service. We are grateful to each of them,” said Khan.

 Khan, who is also a South Asians for America Advisory Council member, offered advice considering recent events to the AAPI community gathered.  “Our democracy and our democratic values are being challenged…Women’s equal dignity is under attack. Voting rights are under attack. So many other fundamental human dignities are under attack. The country looks up to all of us to continue to unite, work together and move forward,” he said.

AAPI Salute to Service 2022, which took place after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, included participation by a South Asian partner organization for the first time this year.

 “This is the first time I’ve participated in an event where our community has been honored, and the service and sacrifice recognized of so many in our AAPI community. Gold Star families are represented by many the AAPI community as well,” said Shyamali Hauth, U.S. Air Force veteran and SAFA Northwest Regional Director. “We are patriots, every single one of us. And we love our country.”

Harini Krishnan, National Organizing Chair for South Asians for America, said the event was, “a reminder to the larger public that we have members of our community who serve, and that we are very much a  part of the fabric of America.”

Other participating AAPI groups included Filipino Young Professionals, Japanese American Veterans Association, National Association of Asian American Professionals, National Organization for Vietnamese American Leadership, and Taiwanese American Professionals.

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