San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 30th, 2009
Reflections on National Hispanic Heritage Month


On July 10, 1858, Abraham Lincoln offered reflections on the July 4th celebrations stating that nearly half of the U.S. population of the day could not trace their ancestors to those that fought in the American Revolution. That in some way these individuals may not truly consider themselves part of this nation. But then Lincoln went on to say that these individuals would be wrong because there is an “electric cord” in the Declaration of Independence that links all Americans regardless of background through “patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists” placing faith in that sacred document that proclaimed “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”.

Personally, when I reflect on National Hispanic Heritage Month, I consider the efforts of Hispanic-Americans possessing these “patriotic hearts” contributing to the fabric of this great nation.

Hispanic-Americans like Santos Nevarez, a World War II veteran who fought in the battle of Okinawa lasting 82 days and claiming 45,029 U.S. Casualties. Mr. Nevarez later recalled that a few months after the battle, an officer made a racial comment towards him. It was at this point that he realized a place at the table in the land of the free would not be free at all; and if what he had just gone through in battle was not enough, then what was.

Growing up, Mr. Nevarez faced discrimination due to the intolerance of the day. However, Mr. Nevarez’s love for America was unquestionable. Some forty years later after that 19 year old solider fought for his country; he would tell his children and grandchildren that he fought because his country needed him. No other reason was needed.

To Hispanic-Americans everywhere like Mr. Nevarez, that through positive actions and strength of character work to make this a strong and free country for everyone, thank you.

MIKE GONZALEZ is the Kyle mayor.

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One thought on “Reflections on National Hispanic Heritage Month

  1. Too bad our country – and your Republican party, Mr. Mayor – decided we needed to erect a fence between the U.S. and Mexico. The border area in Texas has a long heritage of being physically open – and free trade has been an important part of that open border. Now it is closed. Both physically and otherwise.

    Will you join me in starting a campaign to tear down the fence? Just like your Republican mentor Reagan tore down the Berlin Wall?

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