Today, September 15, marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. In 1968, by presidential proclamation, a week had been set aside to recognize the role played by Hispanics in the United States of America. In 1989, Congress passed a bill to change Hispanic Heritage Week to a month long celebration.
Hispanic contributions to the United States are innumerable from the discovery of the Americas to the fact that tortillas are rapidly becoming the most popular brand of bread in the U.S. Every day, wherever you turn to look there are influences by our Heritage. Which makes it kind of ironic, many within the United States want to limit the Hispanic community and if possible build a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border to detour further Hispanic/Mexican influences!
Without Hispanics, the United States would not have come to pass! Without the assistance of Spain the Colonist could not have won the war for Independence! Without the help from Mexico, Lincoln may not have prevailed during the Civil War! Now some citizens of the United States are concerned that the Hispanic community continues to grow in numbers and in political influence. Hispanics will continue to grow in numbers and be an integral part of the United States’ future, despite the best efforts of those wishing to marginalize this community.
The Hispanic Heritage month is bookend by two significant Hispanic events. The first is Mexican Independence Day celebrated on September 16 and the other is the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus celebrated on October 12.
September 16th is hailed as Mexican Independence Day when in fact it is not Independence Day but the beginning of an 11-year struggle to achieve independence. September 16 was the day that Miguel Hidalgo took the first steps toward independence with his famous El Grito de Dolores. It is this call to arms that led to the creation of modern day Mexico.
During this month we also recognize the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the Spanish-American War. We recognize the military contributions by Mexico and Mexicans to the United States. We reflect on the rich history and contributions in science, the arts, business, government, and every other field of endeavor, which creates a diverse mosaic that strengthens our character as a country.