Fifty years to the month when the first Asian American was sworn into the California State Assembly, the late Alfred Hoyun Song received another distinction: the renaming of the Wilshire/Western metro station in his honor.
The motion to rename the station, located in the heart of Koreatown, was sponsored by Metro Board Director and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who said it will serve an as inspiration to not just Korean Americans and Korean immigrants, but to all who overcome enormous challenges and obstacles to serve their communities and the nation with dedication.
“He was a trailblazer in many ways,” said Ridley-Thomas. “He made a mark and it is fitting that he be recognized in this way.”
Song’s family was on hand Jan. 24 as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board voted on the name change.
“I only wish he were with us today, so he could know that his endeavors are recognized and appreciated,” said Leslie Song Winner, Alfred Song’s daughter, who, along with her two sisters and one brother, witnessed the vote. “It is our hope that young people, high school and college students, will learn of Alfred Song’s achievements and see public service as a worthy calling.”
Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles, was also on hand to laud Song’s achievements.
“This will be the first time that a Korean name will be placed on a subway station in Los Angeles and perhaps in the entire country,” said Sonenshein. “This is a decision rich with symbolism and recognition for one of the most dynamic communities of this region.”
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