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

October 8th, 2009
Guest commentary: The meaning of Hispanic Heritage Month

Mayor of Kyle

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, which lasted 82 days and claiming 45,029 U.S. Casualties.  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, Nevarez faced discrimination due to the intolerance of the day. However, 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 Nevarez, that through positive actions and strength of character work to make this a strong and free country for everyone, thank you.

Kyle Mayor Mike Gonzalez was first elected to the office in 2005.

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0 thoughts on “Guest commentary: The meaning of Hispanic Heritage Month

  1. Great article, Mayor Gonzalez, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and keep up the good work.
    It is important for all of us to have role models like you.

  2. Janice Tailorman: “What month is the European Heritage month?”

    Well, pretty much the rest of the year.

  3. It’s not October anymore. How about an editorial on Wold AIDS day (Dec 1), or National Day of United Arab Emirates (Dec 2) or Father’s Day in Thailand (Dec 5) or Constitution Day in Romania, or Saint Lucy Day (Dec 13), or Bill of Richts Day (Dec 15) or Winter Solstice – or hey, what about Christmas…..

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