:: KAARI - Korean-American Association of Rhode Island ::

2016 "Korea Day" Ceremony

2020.06.09 14:23

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On May 26, 2016, the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a resolution that celebrates August 15 as "Korea Day" in the State of Rhode Island. The decision further emphasizes the contribution of the RI Korean community to the rich diversity of Rhode Island and New England. The first "Korea Day" in Rhode Island was declared by former Governor Garrahy 37 years ago in 1979: unfortunately, the tradition was not continued. Thus, this event represents a reinstatement of the 1979 declaration. A separate Bill seeking this resolution permanent is being pursued in the Senate.


This event was attended by members of the Korean American Association of Rhode Island (KAARI), the management team and representatives of Korean groups in Rhode Island, and their families, including second-generation Korean Americans. A large Korean flag was displayed on the back of the central podium, and several KAARI members were dressed up in colorful traditional dresses 'Hanbok.' Also, KAARI member Ms. Junghee Oh played classic Korean tunes on a gayageum, a stringed instrument, before the House Session. All these elements are taken together, created an appropriate environment for the return of "Korea Day."


The House session began with the Pledge of Allegiance by Representative Carol McEntee of South Kingston, who sponsored the Korea Day resolution (see below). She prayed for the peaceful reunification of the two Koreas. Later in the session, Representative McEntee introduced all fifteen KAARI attendees individually to all members of the House and received a standing ovation. Afterward, House Speaker Mattiello declared passage of the resolution and asked the Clerk to read it aloud to the Chamber. It was an emotional and moving moment for those KAARI members who were present in the Chamber. After the session, KAARI members took pictures with the Speaker Mattiello and Representative McEntee (see below). The event was broadcasted live on Channel 1013 (see below for abbreviated video clip).


On behalf of KAARI, the management team would like to express our appreciation to Angela Sharkey, the President of the Korean RI Korean American Business Association. She had worked tirelessly and has been dedicated to this event from the beginning to the end. We would also like to thank Junghee Oh, who played the traditional Korean gayageum music that helped create a unique environment for the occasion.


The following is the list of KAARI members who attended the event:


Bongsup Cho (President)

William Park (Chairman of the Board)

Angela Sharkey (President of RI Korean American Business Association)

Wonkyung Cho (Treasurer)

Okchin Litterio (Chairwoman of the Board of RI Korean School)

Heemong Kim (Principal, RI Korean School)

Wonjung Lee (RI Korean American Senior Association)

Junghee Oh (Korean Gayageum Player)

Kyungsub Choi (Member)

Meeyeun Cho (Member)

Richard Litterio (Member)

Destin Litterio (Member, Second Generation)

Christina Cho (Member, Second Generation, Photographer)

Jessica Lau (Member, Second Generation)

Lisa Park (Member)



*Please click the following link for an edited video.



"Korea Day" House Resolution


House Chamber before the Korea Day Cerebration session










Majority Leader Mattiello





State House Rotanda