| The Centennial
of Korean Immigration to the United States
By the President of the United States of America
From every corner of the world, immigrants have come to America
to discover the promise of our Nation. On January 13, 1903,
the first Korean immigrants to the United States arrived in
Honolulu, Hawaii, on the SS Gaelic. Today, Korean Americans
live throughout the United States, representing one of our largest
Asian-American populations. As we commemorate the centennial
anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States, we recognize
the invaluable contributions of Korean Americans to our Nation's
rich cultural diversity, economic strength, and proud heritage.
For the past century, Korean immigrants and their descendants
have helped build America's prosperity, strengthened America's
communities, and defended America's freedoms. Through their
service in World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the
Vietnam War, and other wars, Korean Americans have served our
Nation with honor and courage, upholding the values that make
our country strong.
The American and Korean people share a love of freedom and a
dedication to peace. The United States was the first Western
country to sign a treaty of commerce and amity with Korea in
1882, promising "perpetual peace and friendship" between our
nations. Since that time, the United States has built a strong
friendship with Korea -- a friendship based on our common commitment
to human dignity, prosperity, and democracy. In the coming months,
more than 1 million Korean Americans throughout our Nation will
celebrate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first
Korean immigrants to the United States. During this time, we
acknowledge and commend Korean Americans for their distinguished
achievements in all sectors of life and for their important
role in building, defending, and sustaining the United States
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution
and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 13,
2003, as the Centennial of Korean Immigration to the United
States. I call upon all Americans to observe the anniversary
with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities honoring
Korean immigrants and their descendants for their countless
contributions to America.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth
day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand three,
and of the Independence of the United States of America the
two hundred and twenty-seventh.
GEORGE W. BUSH
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