Yokota celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month
Yokota Air Base, Japan -- The observance began as Hispanic Heritage Week in September 1968. Twenty years later, in 1988, the week was expanded to establish Hispanic Heritage Month. Each year, the observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, celebrating the cultures, histories, and contributions of American citizens with Spanish, Mexican, the Caribbean, and Central and South American lineage. This year’s NHHM theme, chosen by the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers, is “Shaping the Bright Future of America”.
“I think it’s important to remember where we come from even though we are in America and we are a blended society,” said Tech. Sgt. Xiomara Torres Díaz, 515th Air Mobility Operations Group executive admin and head of the Yokota Hispanic Heritage Month committee. “It’s important to celebrate and share that with other people, other cultures.”
The U.S. Air Force considers the diversity of its Airmen to be one of its greatest strengths.
“National Hispanic Heritage Month is important because it celebrates diversity within the Air Force,” said Airman 1st Class Juan Torres Chardon, 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs photojournalist. “The AF is not just a group of people. It's not one color, one culture or one background. It's people from different situations in life, different cultures, all wearing the same uniform, trying to achieve a common goal. It's a chance to celebrate to highlight and celebrate a culture different than your own.”
Several events will be held on Yokota Air Base in observance of Hispanic Heritage month:
• The Samurai Café will offer a special menu of Hispanic and Hispanic inspired dishes on Oct. 13, 2017.
• A fun run will be held Oct. 13 from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. starting on the East Side near the Baseball Stadium, running toward the North Overrun and back to the Baseball Stadium.