BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (KSLA) — Barksdale Air Force Base has been observing National Hispanic American Heritage Month, which runs continues Sept. 15-Oct. 15 in the United States.
The military installation wrapped things up Thursday with its annual Hispanic heritage luncheon in the newly renovated Buff Event Center.
“Any opportunity that we can get, and that Barksdale can get to come together and show that united front ... that we embrace those differences," Maj. Frances Mercado said.
“We want you to be different. We want you to be who you are and not be afraid to hide. ... As long as we keep that a focus, then we’re better for it in the long-run.”
Mercado, one of this year’s speakers, shared the story of the Dominican Republic’s Mirabal sisters and how they worked to stop Rafael Trujillo’s dictatorship.
“When you have forums like this where you can be excited and represent who you are, where you come from and have an opportunity of people ... you get their undivided attention to kind of share in that passion with you is always a blessing," she said.
Col. Manuel Griego, this year’s guest speaker, spoke about his life and shared information about influential Latino and Hispanic Americans who served in the Air Force.
Thursday’s event also featured different foods and live music. And airmen and their families had the opportunity to watch some salsa and bachata dancing.
Along with the luncheon, the base held a 5K run and hosted events during which airmen could share different foods and read to children.