Hispanic heritage historical note

  • Published
  • By Hispanic Heritage Month
  • 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron, weapons load crew member
A common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo, the 5th of May, is Mexican Independence Day. While still a significant holiday in some parts of Mexico, its popularity is much greater in the United States. Contrary to what some believe, Cinco de Mayo is not a celebration of winning independence, but rather of overcoming seemingly unsurmountable odds. It commemorates the Battle of Puebla, which occurred on May 5th, 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War. During this battle, 2,000 Mexican soldiers faced 6,000 of France's well-trained troops. Despite the apparent advantage the French held, the Mexican soldiers were able to force the French to retreat. While this battle did not win the war, it served as a major boost to Mexican morale. Thus, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the resilience and perseverance of the Mexican people. Independence Day in Mexico is actually celebrated Sept. 16. On this date in 1810, the Mexican Declaration of Independence known as the "Grito de Delores" was created, demanding an end to Spanish rule over Mexico and uniting the Mexican people in the fight.

Hispanic Heritage is filled with stories of overcoming adversity. You've probably heard stories about families immigrating to the United States to escape the poverty and corruption of their native lands. However, a history of hardship is not the only thing shared. All people with a Hispanic heritage, whether they're from Mexico, Spain or any of the other many Latin countries, share a heritage of pride. This month is an opportunity to share our pride in our Hispanic heritage, our families and our country. So take this opportunity to share and learn about your and other's heritage, whether it's sharing recipes or old war stories.