By Andrian Putra
Atlanta, March 16, 2023 – Georgia's Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community gathers to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the horrific Atlanta Spa Shooting which claimed eight innocent victims in Cherokee and Fulton County. Majority of the victims were Asian Americans women.
Georgia's AAPI legislators also held a press conference prior to the gathering to remember the murdered victims and the incident at the Georgia State Capitol.
Names of the March 16th victims were read out loud by both Victoria Huynh, President's Advisory Commission on AA and NPI and Bonnie Youn, Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA) Law Foundation.
Erika Moritsugu, Deputy Liason to President and Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders Senior Liaison provided remarks on behalf of President Biden.
“It has been two years since the tragic incident. We have not seen much progress made in terms of gun controls and legislations in Georgia,” said Dr. Robert Peterson, son of Yong Ae Yue, who was murdered by the shooter. Dr. Peterson also shared a recent dream of his late mother at the gathering.
“We need to have legislators to pass practical gun laws that protect all of us,” said Micheal Webb, whose late wife Xiaojie Tan, was amongst the victims. Webb was referring to the driving safety standards passed in the 1960s as an example which legislators could follow for gun safety laws.
The gathering also witnessed speeches presented by community activist and advocates including Dr. SohYun An of Kennesaw State University, Aparna Bhattacharyya, Executive Director of Raksha, Kook Ja Lee, Korean Community elder, Tyler Lee, youth activist and Sara Hamilton, AAPI crime victims advocate.
Kavi Vu, a local AAPI artist content creator, provided a powerful spoken word performance at the gathering.