Bravo to Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. for his stirring keynote address before the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month banquet on April 28 (see The Hawai‘i Herald, May 15, 2015). His speech captured the vision of our nation’s stubbornly held unity in the midst of our widespread and, at times, rancorous diversity. It also challenged us all to be ever so diligent in honoring the dignity and civil rights of all our people, regardless of their race, religion, gender, age and sexual orientation.
Adm. Harris instills the promise and hope that our military is in good hands and that its leader- ship is deeply thoughtful, purposeful and responsible.
Aloha kakou, Wally Fukunaga Honolulu
Editor’s note: At a change of command ceremony held May 27 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam,
Adm. Harris was promoted from commander of the U.S. Navy fleet at Pearl Harbor to the head of the entire Pacific Command, with responsibility for all Naval operations in the Pacific.
The Pacific Command covers about half of the earth’s surface, stretching from the waters off of the West Coast of the United States to the western border of India, and from Antarctica to the North Pole. In his new position, Adm. Harris directs the approximately 360,000 U.S. military and civilian personnel as- signed to the USPACOM area of responsibility.
Harris is the son of a World War II Navy veteran and a Japanese mother. His parents met and married in Japan, where the future admiral was born. Adm. Harris is the first Asian American to rise to four-star admiral and is the highest-ranking American of Asian descent among all branches of the U.S. military.