By Christine Rosalin
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with a May Day celebration held at its headquarters, May 14.
"This is a fantastic way to celebrate you, our employees," said NAVFAC Pacific Commander Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg. "It's a great way to honor and show our appreciation to the diversity of our ohana and the deeply-rooted Hawaiian culture that surrounds us."
More than 200 employees attended the May Day celebration and enjoyed an array of Hawaiian and international cuisine, while listening to the rhythmic sounds of Hawaiian music. The event also featured a lei-making contest, a Kendama challenge and a White Elephant sale.
"May Day is important because it brings people from all aspects of life together to remember the inspirational heritage of the past and appreciate the spirit of the islands," said Barbara Samson, NAVFAC Pacific Public Works administrative assistant.
This year's national theme for AAPI Heritage Month is "I Am Beyond," and reflects the aspirations of those who transcended beyond barriers to equal opportunity in America.
The theme "I Am Beyond" relates to numerous employees as it brings back the cultural roots of how hard their family members had to work to lay the foundation and sacrifice for the next generation to become successful.
"I am grateful for the hard work and sacrifices both my parents and grandparents have made to allow me and my family to live freely today and enjoy life," said Samson.