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Unveiling a Tribute to Norman Y. Mineta

Mineta statue unveiling event at SJC

On Jan. 25, 2024, in the Terminal B baggage claim area, community members and San José Mineta International Airport passengers witnessed the unveiling of a statue honoring Norman Y. Mineta, a revered figure in Silicon Valley and beyond. His life story embodies resilience and leadership. “We are extremely proud to bear Secretary Mineta’s name, and we honor his legacy with great care,” said John Aitken, Director of Aviation for the City of San José.

Mineta statue unveiling event at SJC view from above

Commissioned by Quest Valley Charities, the statue was sculpted by Steve Davis, and stands as a testament to Mineta's legacy. From his humble beginnings and the hardships of Japanese internment camps, Mineta rose to become San José’s mayor, a congressman and a cabinet member under two presidents from different political parties.

The bronze statue captures Mineta's essence, with a hand over his heart, symbolizing his patriotism and dedication to the public he served. The statue rests on a Montana granite base, which details Mineta’s story and acknowledges the contributors to this artwork.

Close up of Norman Mineta statue at SJC

The choice of location for the statue was strategic, ensuring maximum visibility in Terminal B, which hosts 70% of the airport's traffic. Another artwork, a painting by David Garibaldi, will soon honor Mineta in Terminal A.

Mineta's son, David, expressed the family's deep emotions at the unveiling. He reflected on his father’s profound connection to San José and the impact of seeing his father's life-size statue. "It means everything to the family," he said.

Mineta’s journey, from being the first Asian-American mayor of a major U.S. city to his pivotal roles in the federal government, continues to inspire many, especially in the Asian-American community.

Norman Y. Mineta's contribution to San José and the nation remains immortalized in this statue, a fitting honor for a man who was not just a son of San José but also a visionary leader and advocate for justice.

Learn more about Secretary Mineta.

Mineta statue in Terminal B Baggage Claim