“It’s about time for a national museum to capture the courage, the character, and the imagination … the dreams and the heart and the soul of the generations of our fellow Americans who came before you,” Biden said ahead of signing the Commission To Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture Act into law.
The bill will examine how to make the museum a reality and whether to make it part of the Smithsonian Institution, he said, describing it as a “similar process” to that of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“The diversity of the culture is significant, and the breadth of achievement is equal in significance,” he said, adding that “museums of this magnitude and consequence are going to inspire and educate. More than anything else it’s going to help people see themselves in the story of America.”
“I look forward, one day, to visiting the National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture with all of you,” he said.
He thanked the members of Congress responsible for the bill, including Democratic Rep. Grace Meng of New York.
Biden was introduced by Vice President Kamala Harris, who talked about her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who “made sure that my sister Maya and I learned of the important, glorious history of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in America because that, of course, is part of this history of America.”
“This is also American history,” Harris said. “And we must teach it as it really happened so that we can learn from our best moments and learn from our darkest moments.”
“We must teach it as it really happened … so that we can fight ignorance, dispel misinformation, and work toward a future where all people can live without fear,” she said.
CNN’s Harmeet Kaur contributed to this report.