Transcript: October 9 Koreatown Opening
GOVERNOR HOGAN: Well, good morning, everybody! How about Henry Kim? Is he enthusiastic? Wow! Ahn yong hah sae-yo.
Thank you very much, Chairman.
That was a great introduction. I think I’m going to take Henry Kim everywhere I go. Thank you very much for all of your efforts. It’s wonderful to be here with all of you. For this exciting day for Ellicott City and for our entire state as Maryland officially becomes home to one of the very few official Koreatowns in the United States.
And I want to sincerely thank Ambassador Lee and Ms. Lee and Council General Kwon for all of their strong support for this project. We’re very honored to have them all with us here today.
I want to also thank the Honorary Cochair County Executive Calvin Ball for all of his efforts, along with our other local elected officials and legislators who are here with us today. I want to thank the members of the Koreatown Committee Planning Board and all of our local partners and contributors. It was wonderful to see when they said recognize the contributors, everyone, in the entire audience stood up, because we’ve got so many people that are participating and contributing to this effort, and I want to thank you all for making it possible.
Maryland is very proud of the special bond that we have with Korea. And we’ve been working hard to make that bond even stronger through productive trade missions, new sister-state relationships, partnerships between our Maryland and Korean universities, and increased mutually beneficial business opportunities.
Back in 2016, we designated Route 40 here in Howard County as Korean Way. This is where 12,000 Korean-Americans and 170 Korean-owned businesses call business here near Korean Way. Now, we’re strengthening that bond once again with the official opening of Koreatown.
This project has been in the making for years, and much of the thanks for its success goes to none other than Maryland’s first lady who has worked tirelessly to get this done.
She and County Executive Ball were the honorary cochairs and I’m pretty sure she was bugging the county executive quite a lot throughout this process, but she’s very passionate about this. People often thank me for my strong support of the Korean community, but I don’t deserve any recognition or credit at all; it’s simply because of my wife’s passion and energy.
First of all, I’m a proud Hanguk Sawhi, a son-in-law to the Korean people, and I have a very strong advocate at home lobbying me every day to do more with the Korean community, but it’s thanks to the first lady that I have grown to understand and appreciate and love so much about the Korean culture.
And now, with Maryland’s very own Koreatown, even more Marylanders and visitors from all across the state and around the country will have the opportunity to show their support for all of the local businesses to enjoy the delicious Korean food and learn more about this incredible Korean-American community we have here in Maryland.
I just want to say once again, I want to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to every single person who helped make this possible today.