MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Dozens of service members and civilians came together to kick off and
celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month during the Hispanic Heritage Month
Observance and Special Emphasis Event at the Paradise Point Officer’s
Club on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Sept. 15.
"The purpose of today was to bring together the community and highlight
all the Hispanics and their contributions to America," said Luis J.
Alers-De Jesus, retirement services officer for Marine Corps
Installations East – Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. "This event was to
keep remembering our heritage and our history, although we’re all
The event recognized the history, culture and contributions of Americans
whose ancestry is traced to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and
"It important that today was to recognize the Hispanics in the
Department of Defense to ensure that we as a community recognize the
many contributions that we as a culture have made in this country," said
Master Sgt. Rudy Cruz, an Equal Opportunity Advisor with 2nd Marine
The event included a historical review of Hispanic Heritage in America,
including the many different types of dances from various cultures for
different types of Hispanic music.
"It’s not just one particular race that makes this country great," said
Alers-De Jesus. "It is everyone’s different cultures and contributions
that make this country what it is; the United States is a melting pot of
people and I’m just glad to be able to celebrate our heritage and our
Sept. 15 was the start of Hispanic Heritage Month and also marked the
Independence Day for several Hispanic countries. Patrons from many of
these countries, both military and civilian, had the opportunity to
share in one of the many cultures that make up this country.
"When you educate yourself about the culture, you’ll find out a lot
about what Hispanics have brought to the United States in terms of
inventions and ideas," said Cruz. "This was a good event today, this
should definitely be continued not only to recognize Hispanic Heritage,
but all the cultures in the DOD."