Each year as the nation observes National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanic-American citizens, Team Edwards held its observance in the form of a Hispanic Heritage Month luncheon on Oct. 2, 2012.
Hosted by the 412th Test Wing and sponsored by the Air Force Test Center and NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, approximately 140 people were in attendance at Club Muroc to listen to David McBride, Director of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, speak about what Hispanic Heritage Month meant to him as a Hispanic-American.
“The timing of today’s celebration is significant because it ties into a month when we celebrate the contributions Hispanic-Americans have made to the United States of America in the past and the contributions we will continue to make in the future,” said McBride.
As part of the luncheon’s festivities, participants were treated to a Hispanic-themed lunch courtesy of Club Muroc staff members. With this year’s national theme being “Diversity United, Building America’s Future Today,” Hispanic Heritage Month committee member with the 412th Medical Support Squadron, Staff Sgt. Marlena Loredo explained the importance of attending events like this for the Edwards community.
“There are so many diverse backgrounds in the military and I feel events like this are good opportunities to meet people of different cultures and to learn something about those cultures whether you are or are not of Hispanic descent,” added Loredo. “Even though I am of Hispanic descent, I know I always seek to learn more about other cultures, especially since there are so many that are a part of this observation.”
The observation, which started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson, was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15. It was enacted into law Aug. 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
The day of Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept.18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls within this 30-day period.
Look to the Desert Wings and www.edwards.af.mil for upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month events at Edwards.