October 19, 2001

Statement by Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe

Washington, D.C. - Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Terry McAuliffe issued the following statement on Dia de la Raza, a final recognition culminating a month-long celebration of Hispanic Heritage for Latinos.

"In the wake of the horrific September 11 terrorist attacks, October 12 --Día de la Raza-- provides us an opportunity to recognize the vast contributions and sacrifices made by Hispanic Americans to our country, and revive our country's fighting spirit in rebuilding our Democratic society.

"More than 30 million Hispanic Americans greatly contribute to the economic prosperity of our nation, and make a powerful contribution to our country's cultural and political diversity. As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, let us not forget to honor and pay respect to the many Latinos who serve our country in the United States Armed Services. Thirty-eight Latino servicemen have earned the Medal of Honor—our nation's highest military honor for bravery--over 113,000 Latinos actively serve in our military.

"Let us also not forget the countless hardworking, taxpaying, Latino brothers and sisters —including our undocumented Latino immigrants without a legal voice— who were impacted by the September 11 attacks. Many of them perished that day, and many more have since been laid off in the retail, service, transportation and manufacturing industries. These men and women face a grim reality of putting food on the table for their families without the help of a spouse or partner's income.

"Hispanics helped build this nation to what it is today, and they will also help rebuild and revitalize a stronger, better, nation. They are among America's heroes and we must honor their contributions them with a responsible workers' relief package that meets their needs and their families's needs.

"As though Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, the Democratic Party will continue all year to celebrate the many contributions of Hispanic Americans. We continue to build and broaden our strong commitment to Latinos through Democratic principles that improve the lives of Latino families-guaranteeing quality of life wages for our workers, protecting Social Security for our Hispanic senior citizens, access to higher education for our young Latino adults, and fair and equitable legal immigration laws and civil liberties. After Sept. 11, it is even more critical that we focus on empowering more Latinos to fully participate in our Democratic process and elections."

Return to the Frontpage