Cannon celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Airman Thomas Trower, 27th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

“The contributions of Hispanic Americans have made a positive impact on every part of our society. Americans of Hispanic descent are astronauts and athletes, doctors and teachers, lawyers and scientists. The vibrancy of our Nation’s Hispanic performers enriches music, dancing, and the arts. Hispanic Americans serve at every level of government, including as Attorney General of the United States and Secretary of Commerce. Latino entrepreneurs are starting and growing businesses all across America, creating jobs and opportunities. The hard work and determination of Hispanic Americans continue to inspire all those who dream of a better life for themselves and their families.” – President George W. Bush
In 1968 Congress authorized President Lyndon Johnson to proclaim a week in September as National Hispanic Heritage Week, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Later, in 1988, this observance was expanded into a monthlong celebration from Sept.15 to Oct. 15. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and 18.
The Cannon Cultural Observance Committee (COC) is celebrating Hispanic culture and traditions by holding a Latin Dance Night in conjunction with the 27th Services Squadron, said 2nd Lt. Tygina Bibbs, president of the Cannon COC. The dance will be from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday at The Landing. Tickets may be purchased from the 27th SVS or any COC member.
There will also be a luncheon at 11:30 Oct. 12 at The Landing, said Lt. Bibbs. Dr. Romelia Hurtado-De Vivas will be the featured speaker. Tickets must be purchased prior to the event from any COC member.
Hispanics play a vital role in the everyday military operations of the United States. According to statistics from the 2003 U.S. Census, there were 1.1 million Latino veterans of the U.S. armed forces, and about 53,000 Hispanic-origin people were on active duty. Hispanic/Latinos represent 7.9 percent of the total active duty Air Force military.
The census also showed that 13 states had at least half a million Hispanic residents. These states included: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Washington. New Mexico’s population consists of 43 percent from Hispanic origin, the highest of any state in the country.
Hispanic Heritage Month gives America a chance to celebrate the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean while contributing to the United States today.