MacDill celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

  • Published
  • By 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, MacDill AFB will observe and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, a time when the contribution of Hispanic Americans who have served and are serving now are recognized.

The observance started in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson's administration as a one-week celebration called Hispanic Heritage Week. Years later, President Ronald Reagan proposed extending this celebration into a month-long event. It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988, officially designating the 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month.

This year’s theme is “Honoring the Past, Securing the Future!” Hispanics and Hispanic-Americans make contributions in many fields that enable the greatness of America. Their contributions to the defense of this nation, the arts, sports, public service, research and development, non-profit organization management, civil rights, politics, business, agriculture, and the service industry enable America to maintain its competitiveness, relevance, and position in the global landscape as the leader of the free world.

Hispanic Americans played an immeasurable role in the United States’ Armed Forces during World War II by serving bravely and with distinction from the initial attack on Pearl Harbor to the last days of the Pacific campaign.

Sixty men of Hispanic heritage have been awarded the Medal of Honor. The award comes through the National Defense Authorization Act, which called for a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to ensure that no prejudice was shown to those deserving the medal.

It is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its Armed Forces. Of the sixty Medals of Honor, two were presented to members of the United States Navy, thirteen to members of the United States Marine Corps and forty-six to members of the United States Army. Forty-two of the Medals of Honor were presented posthumously.

The nation remains forever indebted to WWII veterans, who not only forever changed the course of history, but who demonstrated selfless service and sacrifice in defense of global peace and security.

We remember the legacy of the “Greatest Generation” by Honoring the Past, Securing the Future.