Mr. Lee asked me to describe myself a bit and why I wanted to take up Chinese painting.
So I told my mom to translate and write about how I have always been interested in art and that Chinese painting was a new way to develop myself as an artist. Some good honest stuff like that.
But my mom wrote something else and when I read it, it said:
Everyone must be curious as to why I like Chinese painting,
it's because I have Chinese blood in me.
Wow... I really thought that was corny. And I asked my mom if she was sure about it.
I trusted my mom because she is old school Chinese and I wouldn't want to argue with that :P
So the time came to present my speech.
I spoke to the audience and I told them the reason why I took up Chinese painting:
because of my Chinese blood.
And unexpectedly, the audience cheered. It really wasn't the response I was going for, but I guess that really appealed to them.
But in the end, it is an honor to have Chinese blood in me and have the ability to create those Chinese paintings.
On a day like this, I can't help but also think about the World Wars.
The World Wars are only history and stories now, but it is because of them-the men and women of the world wars-that we are what we are today.
I can't help but think of the Bixby Letter written by Abraham Lincoln
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle
... I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln"Yeah, I read that some parts of the letter are inaccurate and etc. (and I shortened it..)
But I think Abraham Lincoln really captured the soul of this holiday.
This letter was read out loud in Saving Private Ryan... which I think the movie totally cheats because Tom Hanks is such a good actor (big fan right here!).
I also want to give a shout out to my good friend Derek Casarez who is currently in the Marines serving the country.
Indeed, it is a good time to be a proud American Chinese :)
Happy Veterans Day!