(Pearl Harbor) A Hispanic Heritage Month Observance Ceremony hosted by the Pacific, Joint Forces Diversity Committee was held on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Sept. 26.
Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from 15 September to 15 October. “Hispanics: One Endless Voice to Enhance Our Traditions” is the theme commands are encouraged to reflect on during this year’s month of celebration.
The Hispanic Heritage Month Event featured Chief Master Sgt. Carlos Rosa, Air Force senior enlisted leader for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Hawaii and Superintendent, 647th Air Base Group, 15th Wing as the guest speaker. Rosa, who is of Puerto Rican descent, provided personal recounts of his youth and questions that arised throughout his life regarding his culture.
“When people find out I am Hispanic the next question is usually if I speak Spanish,” said Rosa.
He shared with guests that due to his parent’s negative perception surrounding Spanish speakers, they opted for him to not learn Spanish growing up.
He asked the audience to reflect on whether speaking Spanish, or lack thereof, has an impact on an individual’s Hispanic culture, heritage and the perception of Hispanics.
Rosa expressed the sense of duty he feels to educate his three children about Hispanic culture and to keep passing down traditions.
Master Sgt. Josephine Santana, a diversity committee member, provided her thoughts on why observances like Hispanic Heritage Month are important.
“Events like these provide an opportunity to educate people about a particular culture,” said Santana. “It can help change people’s minds and perceptions about a culture.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, guests were invited to the Silver Dolphin Bistro Galley to partake in a Hispanic inspired meal and cake-cutting to commemorate Hispanic Heritage.
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