By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent
The Asian Hall of Fame in Seattle announced this month a stellar class of 2016 inductees.
Recognized will be television journalist Connie Chung, actor and famed martial artist Bruce Lee, gold medal winner Kristi Yamaguchi and retired Major General Antonio M Tabuga of the U.S. Army.
They will join 18 other inductees who have been enshrined since 2004.
“Having my father inducted into the Asian Hall of Fame this year, alongside the other inspirational individuals
Connie, Kristi, and Antonio, is a true honor and one the Bruce Lee Foundation is very grateful,” said Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee’s daughter and chairperson of his foundation. “This award is recognition that my father’s art, philosophy and the dynamic way he lived his life continues to impact so
many Asian Pacific Americans within the US and beyond.”
The induction ceremony put on by the Robert Chinn Foundation is set to take place May 14 at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.
“I feel deeply honoured – a word often used – but it is what I truly feel, along with a strong sense of humility,
about this recognition,” said Yamaguchi. ” To be included with your illustrious list of distinguished people is an acknowledgment
that I accept with gratitude and with a realization that I share this with all who have been a part of my journey.”
The Olympic Gold Medal winner got into figure skating as a form of physical therapy to treat her clubfoot. It quickly became more than that as she excelled to a junior national title as a pair skater with Rudy Galindo in 1986. She went on to compete in singles, eventually winning her gold medal in 1992. Her Always Dream Foundation provides support to children through educational and recreational activities. She also is a children’s book author and is developing her Tsu.ya clothing line. She is married to professional hockey player Bret Hedican and has two daughters, Keara Kiyomi and Emma Yoshiko.
Yamaguchi is also a U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame inductee in 1998, World Figure Skating Hall of Fame inductee in 1999, USOC Olympic Hall of Fame inductee in 2005, and the 2008 recipient of the Thurman Munson Award for excellence in competition and philanthropic work.
Lee was born in San Francisco, but raised in Hong Kong, where he trained with Wing Chung master, Yip Man. He would return to the United States at age 18 and would open martial art schools in Oakland and Los Angeles. He rose to fame as Kato in the American television series The Green Hornet. He would rise to legendary status with his numerous films, the biggest being Enter the Dragon in 1973. He died that same year from a cerebral edema caused by an allergic reaction to pain medication.
Several of this year’s inductee mentioned the importance of their heritage.
“My Chinese up-bringing shaped every single thought, every action, every path I took, ” said Chung. “I think like a Chinese person…live, eat and breath being Chinese. In my mind, I ended up with the‘right stuff’because of my parents and how they raised me in a traditional Chinese home. As a first generation family, my parents’ values and way of living were purely Chinese.”
Chung in 1993 became the first woman to co-anchor the CBS Evening News. She began her career with CBS in 1971 covering politics and world news. Her honors include the George Foster Peabody Award, 3 Emmy awards, and the Amnesty International Human Rights Award.
“My family’s heritage emanated from my late parents, Tomas and Maria Taguba,” said General Taguba. “.My dad was in the US Army during WWII in the Philippines. He was a former Japanese prisoner of war and later retired from the Army.My mother was in a prisoner of war camp during the war. My f amily immigrated to the United States in July 1961. It was a challenging experience for us. I wanted to served my country, but my experience was fraught with discrimination along the way.”
He served 34 years on active duty before retiring in 2007. During Operations Iraqi Freedom, he was responsible for overseeing logistical and support services to U.S. and Coalition forces totaling over 150,000 troops conducting combat operations. He later served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pentagon. In his final assignment on active duty, he served as Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command.
His military awards include the Army Distinguished Service Medal (2 awards), Legion of Merit (4 awards), Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (6 awards), Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, and Army Staff Identification Badge.
He is married to Debra Ann Taguba. They have 2 adult children- Lindsay Taguba Keys and Captain Sean T. Taguba, and twin granddaughters, Ibby and Lily.
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