Susan Ahn Cuddy - Secrets of WWII Exhibit runs April 2 to October 9 2022
Secrets of WWII Ronald Reagan Library
SAC's Navy memorabilia will be on display for the first time.
"But I had a friend at the USC Dean of Women's office, and she was a little upset, and she said: "Let me find out why." So she went down to the board and found out it was because I was Korean.
We were unusual in those days, and we looked like the enemy. So anyway, they didn't accept me which was o.k. -- I didn't care. But a month later they wrote me and said that I could enlist. And you know, there's a big discrimination between officers and enlisted. So I went down to the board and I said: "I was refused to become an officer. What's my situation?" And they said: "Oh, you can work your way up to be a Chief Petty Officer." I said "Fine" and so I joined!"
Susan Ahn Cuddy with Lucy Lee Ahn - Philson Ahn's wife - at home talking about their life stories.
Veteran of the Day Lt. Susan Ahn Cuddy US Department of Weterans Affairs
Susan Ahn Cuddy honored by DOD for AAPI Month
Susan Ahn Cuddy honored by Today Online for AAPI month
Susan Ahn Cuddy honored by US Naval Historical and Heritage Command for AAPI Month
SAC was more than a trailblazer. She pushed open the doors of opportunity for race and gender more than most people during her time. She was an achiever who was also down to earth. Many people had no idea what she did but they were impressed with her as a person.
Foundation of Women Warriors likes SAC
Story Corp at NPR likes SAC
SAC got great care at Sepulveda VA Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Care Program (GRECC) and the Women's Health Program. SACC
Susan frequently enjoyed the writings of Maya Angelou. Almost every day during the last few years of her life she would read Angelou's words and reflect on her own life.To anyone who learns about Susan's life both of these quotes could be her mantra. "If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be." and "I can change by what happens to me. But, I refuse to be reduced by it."
A broad variety of things happened to Susan throughout her 100 years. These experiences impacted her life. She successfully navigated many previously untamed paths. Through numerous obstacles and disappointments Susan achieved amazing accomplishments many people would not dare to do or could not find the courage to try.
"My mom used to tell me: 'Life wasn't fair.' It took me a while to understand what she meant." Racism, inter-racial issues, Japanese spies, sexism and growing up without a father are examples some of the experiences that were not fair to her. She did not ask for any of this. She faced reality by learning how to seek the truth and deal with its consequences. She overcame the tremendous challenge of being a trailblazer through sincere persistence and having the courage to do the right thing.
Fair or not throughout her life she really made the best of everything. She traveled many places. Everyone she influenced was better off by knowing her. She treated everyone politely and gave everyone a fair chance.
Many times I wish she said in public what she said in private. So many people were unaware of her point of view. After she left the National Security Agency many saw her as a little old Asian lady who spoke English perfectly. People new she was in the Navy. Most had no idea she was trained to shoot to kill. They had no idea she taught brave American men Navy pilots how to maneuver an airplane and shoot its guns to survive air combat in the skies of World War II. Her Navy Intel pin said: "In God we trust. All other we monitor." Most people could not comprehend what Susan did at the National Security Agency. Somehow, many people got to know and love only the little old lady part of Susan Ahn Cuddy. Nevertheless, her life is a true lesson about life achievement.
After her death years have gone by in strange ways. What would Susan think about the many changes around the world that have taken place since 2015? The Ahns were migrant farm workers in America struggling to make a life in the early 1900's. Racism was no stranger. The turmoil of life today may not be a shock to her since she grew up during the Japanese Occupation of Korea her parents' homeland. She was right in the heart of DC with a direct viewpoint of how the United States dealt with its citizens and with the world. At one time she had her finger on the pulse of Japan and Russia. She was no stranger to questionable foreign policies and how world leaders employed them. The overblown egos, dishonesty and limited knowledge of the leading characters in this nightmare of current affairs would bother her to no end. The lack of sound character among American and foreign leaders would concern her. The loss of what truth and justice means would alarm her. The widespread unethical and unjust leadership would shock her.
Susan made history and a lot of it for one person. In positive ways changed the lives of many. Far from normal and quite amazing life...
Veteran's Day City of Malibu
Good Samaritan Hospital Dosan Scholarship Fund Raising
AAJC American Courage Award National Press Club DC
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