Joint Base celebrates Hispanic American Heritage Month

Story and photo by MC1 Meranda Keller
Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Hawaii

A Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration hosted by the Pacific, Joint Forces Diversity Committee was held at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Sept 20.

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, and “Shaping the Bright Future of America,” is the theme Navy commands are encouraged to reflect on during this year’s commemoration period.

“Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work and service,” said Logistics Specialist 1st Class Leslie Garcia, a participant from Naval Supply Systems Command.” They have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural customs of their community.”

Prior to the event, a special Hispanic food tasting provided by a local Mexican restaurant was held, featuring items such as carne asada burritos, pork carnitas and churros offered to the attendees of the observance ceremony.

The Hispanic Heritage Month Observance Ceremony featured service members of Hispanic descent that spoke about the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

A special cultural dance performance was also performed at the event by members of the American Renaissance Academy Dance Troupe, along with other students from the school attending the event as part of a school field trip.

“I’ve spent just over half my life in the military, and I can honestly say it’s the one community and organization where I’ve felt truly American,” said Lt. Col. Jose L. Zambrano, the event’s guest speaker from Headquarters Pacific Air forces. “It has given me the opportunity to challenge myself and in some ways honor to be able to pay back the opportunity it allowed my parents as immigrants and naturalized citizens.”

Zambrano also spoke about the importance of honoring and remembering past service members of Hispanic ethnicity.

“We as American military members with Hispanic heritage must remember to honor those Hispanics that made major impacts and influences in the armed forces, as early as the Civil War, to current day operations and civil services.”

Hispanic Americans serve in every rank, from seamen to admiral, and hold nearly every job, from naval Boatswains Mate to Navy SEALs. Additionally, there are more than 12,000 Hispanic American civilians working for the Department of the Navy.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS

Category: Life & Leisure