The National Training Center and Fort Irwin celebrated the 2012 National Hispanic Heritage Month observance with a ceremony that saw interviews, dancing and food, Sept. 19.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, and this year’s theme is “Diversity United, Building America’s Future Today.” The theme refers to the vital role Hispanics play in the moments that shape our country, and the Army recognizes the achievements and contributions of those individuals. America’s diversity is a source of strength, and Hispanic Americans have defended and showed their allegiance to this nation in many ways – especially through military service.
The celebration on this military installation was coordinated by Soldiers and leadership of the 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. The 1/11 ACR commander, Lt.
Col. Frederick Snyder, introduced a video presentation created by his unit that showcased Soldiers and civilian employees, who spoke about how Hispanic Americans have demonstrated many of the corps values pertinent to this nation.
“We challenge each of you today to examine these values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage, with renewed purpose and commitment, so that they may help us be: better leaders, better Soldiers, better spouses and better Americans,” Snyder said.
Another highlight of the ceremony was the Latin dance performance by the Los Angeles Ballroom Dance Entertainment Company. The dancers entertained the audience with renditions of Cha Cha/Rumba, Tango, Paso Doble Caping, Flamenco, Spanish Waltz, Paso Doble, Samba, and Rumba.
The final performance, a Salsa, was described as having a composition that involves complex African percussion, based on the Clave Rhythm. According to the dance company, modern Salsa styles are associated and named to the original geographic areas that developed them, but there are often devotees of these styles outside their home territory. Characteristics that may identify a Salsa style include: timing, basic steps, foot patterns, body rolls and movements, turns and figures, attitude, dance influences and the way partners hold each other.
The event closed out with a food sampling that included chicken and rice, ‘taquitos,’ enchiladas, and deserts.