US Congress honors Guru Nanak’s 550th birthday and sacrifices of Sikh Americans

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Recognizing the historical, cultural, and religious significance of Guru Nanak’s 550th birthday as well as the contributions and sacrifices made by Sikh Americans, a bi-partisan group of  US lawmakers introduced a resolution in the Congress on Wednesday, Aug.7.

Observing that Sikh Americans distinguish themselves by fostering respect among all people through faith and service; the resolution recognizes the discrimination that Sikh Americans have faced in the United States and around the world.

The resolution expresses its respect for all Sikhs who practice their faith.

Observing that Sikh men and women have notably contributed to American society since their arrival in the late 1800s, the resolution said that Sikh Americans pursue diverse professions that add to the social, cultural, and economic vibrancy of the United States, including service as members of the United States Armed Forces and making significant contributions to our great nation in agriculture, information technology, small businesses, the hospitality industry, trucking, medicine, and technology.

Sikh Americans, like Bhagat Singh Thind, served in the United States military during the World Wars and the first Asian American Congressman, Dalip Singh Saund, was a Sikh American elected to office in 1957; the resolution said.

“I’m proud to have introduced the first ever resolution in the United States House of Representatives honoring the significant contributions Sikh Americans have made to our country and American culture,” said Congressman TJ Cox, Vice-Chair of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus.

“Today, the influence of Sikh Americans is reflected in every facet of American life, including the Central Valley’s agriculture industry,” he said. Among others who co-sponsored the resolutions are Congressmembers John Garamendi, Haley Stevens, Ted Yoho, and Zoe Lofgren.

“Resolutions like this are a key part of the Sikh Coalition’s ongoing efforts to engage our elected officials,” said the Sikh Coalition.

“Raising awareness of the contributions of Sikh Americans as well as the cultural and historical significance of our religion is a critical component in the larger fight to ensure our civil rights are protected and respected.”

“We sincerely appreciate Congressman Cox’s efforts in recognizing the Sikh American community and its contributions to this great nation,” said the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

There are close to 500,000 Sikhs living in the United States and about half of this population resides in California. Sikh Americans have worked on farms, lumber mills, mines, and on the Oregon, Pacific, and Eastern Railroads.

Sikh Americans have pursued diverse professions from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces to opening numerous small businesses, and have contributed to the fields of agriculture, information technology, the hospitality industry, trucking, and medicine.

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