MacDill celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

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  • 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 Hispanic Americans – Essential to the Blueprint of Our Nation.” Many Hispanics have marched for social justice, defended our country, and helped advance America’s journey toward an ideal nation by sharing a dream of equality and limitless opportunity. They have defied social and cultural stereotypes throughout many generations and have become pioneers in their respective fields. 

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.