CORONADO, Calif. - The staff of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) honored the conclusion of Hispanic Heritage Month with a celebration held at their headquarters building in Coronado, Calif., Oct. 18.
Each year, the month-long observance from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 celebrates the culture, history and contributions of citizens from Spain, Mexico, and other Spanish-speaking nations. This year's theme was: "Hispanics: Serving and Leading our Nation with Pride and Honor."
"Hispanics have had a proud and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work and service," said Lt. Cmdr. Angela Kosko, commanding officer of troops. "They have enhanced and shaped our nations character with century-old traditions and reflect multi-ethnic, multi-cultural customs of their community."
During the event, Hispanic Heritage committee members gave "Did You Know?" facts about important figures in the military and throughout the country. Retired Navy Rear Adm. William Rodriguez, attending the event as the guest speaker, spoke about influential figures and Hispanic statistics in the United States.
The committee also organized entertainment from Grupo Folklorico San Ysidro, which included San Ysidro High School student and alumni dancers.
"Celebrations like this are very important for all of us because we can learn something new, gain an appreciation for what our shipmates bring from different cultures and how we may incorporate those elements into our lives," said Capt. Frank Olmo, SURFPAC chief of staff.
He described diversity as both a strength and a force multipler of the U.S. Navy.
"Our Sailors are the face of our nation and I would like to personally congratulate all Hispanics who serve, lead and answer the call to our nation with pride and honor."
The ceremony concluded with a cake cutting and a variety of ethnic food including empanadas, flan, mole and tamales.
America's official Hispanic heritage observance started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. On Aug. 17, 1988 President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation that expanded the official observance to the current month-long celebration.
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