Andersen recognizes Hispanic culture
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Team Andersen held several events throughout the month to celebrate Hispanic heritage, which began Sept. 15th and ends Oct. 15th.
Andersen's Hispanic Heritage committee held a Strength Through Diversity 5K run, a cake cutting ceremony, and will hold a book reading at Andersen Elementary on Oct. 15. The association also held a gala at Kento's Guam to celebrate with the community.
The military observes the traditions of multiple cultures throughout the year to build esprit de corps.
"The military values the diversity that we provide and they allow us to share our experiences, no matter what country you come from," said Master Sgt. Jorge Diaz-Morales, 36th Wing Inspector General wing inspection team manager.
"As a base we celebrate by recognizing the origins of our Hispanic troops that are currently serving," said Staff Sgt. Virginia Liranzo, 36th Operations Support Squadron airfield systems supervisor. "There are many who are proud Americans as well as proud Latinos; it just cuts that barrier to create unity."
President Lyndon B. Johnson initially started the observance as Hispanic Heritage Week in September 1969. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan extended the observance to a month. The month serves to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens with ties to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
"We try to gather information from people that represent different countries to learn about their traditions," Diaz-Morales said. "We try to teach our people to keep those sometimes forgotten traditions alive. "
Liranzo followed her father's footsteps by joining the military and now speaks about the importance of diversity between troops.
"I am second generation coming through the military, my father was in the Army, his supply unit was manned with Latinos as well as Caucasians, Asians and African Americans; the blended family allowed openness throughout the unit, and I still see it today in the Air Force," Liranzo said.
Hispanic Heritage began on Sept. 15, to recognize the independence of the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and 18.