As my children scurry around excitedly before our neighborhood’s annual Memorial Day Parade—decorating their bikes, finding bags for the candy the Girl Scouts will throw, thinking about doughnuts in the park, planning to barbeque with friends afterwards — I remind them to be respectful, that Memorial Day is not just about the parade, that it is actually a very somber occasion, one that honors the brave men and women who have given their lives to protect our freedom in America, and that although we do not glorify war, their great-grandfathers and grandfathers were all in the military.
Yet, every year when parade organizers ask if I want to bring a group of Chinese School kids to march or lion dance in the parade, I hesitate. I worry. I agree only if I can get a big group of parents to walk with the kids, as security, just in case someone thinks people who look like us do not belong.
Of course, I know that people who look like us do belong. My grandfather trained in Texas (with Connie Chung’s dad!) and flew alongside General Chennault’s Flying Tigers during the Sino-Japanese War. Another friend’s father was a South Vietnamese medic during the Vietnam War who took care of wounded U.S. servicemen.
click on link for more The importance of ethnic new media for filling out the conversation