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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 25, 1999


I am honored to recognize the contributions of Chinese Americans during World War II. This untold story is one of great patriotism and heroism. Some 20,000 Chinese Americans served our country during this period as aviation specialists, paratroopers, military intelligence officers, medics, in the Women Army Corps (WACs) and Women Army Air Force Service (WASPs) and so on. From Normandy to Prisoner of War camps they served this nation with great pride and courage.

Asian Americans, as demonstrated by the Veterans I met today, have proved over and over again their loyalty to this country. It is intolerable that the patriotism of Asian Americans continues to be questioned, in the light of the recent allegations of espionage at one of our national laboratories. Asian American scientists like those who have served proudly in our military, have made significant contributions to our national security, and have made the U.S. the foremost leader in scientific achievements. Yet instead of our thanks, many have received nothing by suspicion and prejudice.

Racism and stereotyping have no place in our nation of diverse peoples who trace their ancestry every to corner of the globe. The remarkable men and women that I met today, are examples of why our diversity is our greatest strength. Today, I honor these Chinese American Veterans of World War II and their service and steadfast loyalty to this country.