Friday, October 07, 2011

Naval Base Coronado Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

By Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Amanda Huntoon, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Base Coronado celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with traditional music and cuisine at Naval Air Station North Island, Oct. 6.

The nation observes Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the contributions Hispanics have made to the country, and to celebrate their culture and heritage. This year marks the 23rd year of the national observance, which begins Sept. 15 and ends Oct. 15. This year's theme is "Many backgrounds. Many stories. One American spirit."

Naval Surface Forces Force Chaplain, Capt. Emilio Marrero, said the significance of heritage observations cannot be understated.

"We have these celebrations, so we can look at the past and see where it has taken us presently, and where it will take us in the future," said Marrero, the event's guest speaker. "It is a story that needs to be told because we came together, despite our differences, to serve as Americans. It celebrates the diverse community that we are as a Navy."

"I am excited for this Hispanic Celebration and for the growth the Hispanic heritage has in leadership positions, not only in our country, but in our Navy," said Naval Base Coronado Commanding Officer Capt. Yancy B. Lindsey.

The festivities included a guest performance by Montgomery High School's Mariachi Band, who entertained the crowd of Sailors and civilians with traditional Hispanic music. This was followed by a buffet with authentic Mexican cuisine, and a "Top Chef" competition for best prepared dish.

"We celebrate the different cultural events to recognize the contributions that each culture has given to the United States Navy," said Chief Yeoman Lewis Jiggets, assigned to Naval Base Coronado's Administration Office. "The event was perfect and everyone had a great time."

Currently there are over 43,000 Hispanic Sailors serving in the United States Navy who come together from various Hispanic cultures for one common purpose, to protect and serve.

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