National Hispanic Heritage Month (NHHM) is observed every year from September 15 to October 15 to honor the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. During the Coast Guard’s recent socially distanced and virtual Hispanic Heritage Month event, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the first Latino and immigrant to head the DHS, shared his experiences growing up as a Latino American with the workforce.
“This country gave so much to my family, to my parents, and their dreams for us, and has given so much to me and to my siblings, and we will pass it on to our children.”
Secretary Mayorkas also referenced the service members of the Coast Guard and other military branches as those individuals who make celebrating cultural observances like NHHM achievable.
“To me, Hispanic Heritage Month is a special time of reflection of our backgrounds and our heritage, but it’s also an opportunity to express thanks to the people who make it all possible. Those who make the ability of heritage to remain true without losing one’s new life and future, possible.”
This year’s NHHM theme is “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope” which invites us to not only celebrate Hispanic and Latino Heritage, but to also reflect on how great tomorrow can be if we keep our hope.
Capt. John Baressi, commander, Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center (SILC) served as a keynote speaker during the event. Baressi, a native of Puerto Rico, touched on this year’s theme of hope in his remarks. “To flourish, hope needs action. The actions I’m referring to are the necessary inclusion choices we can make together to cherish diversity in all its forms...As ambassadors of our heritage, we can help tear down ideas, philosophies, or stereotypes that divide us. Instead, we can be agents of change, educate others, and build on the legacy of those who came before us.”
The Coast Guard recognizes and celebrates cultural observances throughout the year to promote respect, celebrate our differences, and help unite and educate us.
To learn more about ways to get involved with an affinity groups or outreach at the unit level, visit the Office of Diversity & Inclusion website.