LULAC Honors All Our Fallen Comrades-In-Arms This Memorial Day
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Salutes the Bravery of Our Servicemembers, Even the Forgotten
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) says Memorial Day 2021 is being commemorated in a way unlike any other in recent memory. LULAC is remembering every Latino man and woman whose life has been lost in the face of the enemy, from outside and from within, while they wore a uniform in defense of our nation. Also, those who died after being long forgotten, deported by the country they bravely served.
Sixty men of Hispanic heritage have been awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces, since the American Civil War.
Roman Palomares, LULAC, Chair, National Committee on Military and Veterans’ Affairs
“For many LULAC members, this is an especially bittersweet day of remembrance and solemn honor to servicemembers we have lost. Traditionally, we think of our comrades lost on the battlefield because they clearly went into harm’s way with the knowledge of the danger they faced. They did so courageously, to fend off foreign enemies determined to do our nation harm. Yet now, we mourn Latino men and women lost to another enemy. It is one that is hidden and much more sinister because it is within our own military ranks. This threat is of even greater danger because it permeates deeply in our military through a culture of historic racism and discrimination that continues to this day. This Memorial Day, our moment of mourning must also be a time of resolve to end the threat taking the lives of our loved ones in uniform, wherever and however this is happening.”
Crystal Romero, LULAC Chair, National Subcommittee on Military and Veterans’ Legislative Affairs
“The time has never been clearer for every American who believes what service to God and Country truly means. This Memorial Day is one of the most important because we are in the midst of an action that promises to transform what it means to be a member of our nation’s military. Our victory can only come when the life of every Latino servicemember is valued and protected as equally worthy. We pause in re-commitment to Army SPC Vanessa Guillen, whose abuse and loss at the hands of fellow soldiers is no less painful or less deserving of our honor and respect. She too, is an American military hero, as important as all the soldiers buried with full military honors at Arlington or remembered at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Yet, she is not being so remembered and no salute of honor is being made in her name. We make this promise to her and every Latino soldier whose life has been claimed while in the military: ‘We will not allow anyone to diminish your memory, your spirit to serve or the will which first compelled you to take an oath to serve your country. So help us God.’”
Leonard Gonzales, Vice Chair, LULAC National Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs
“Our nation prides itself on the military creed of leaving no fallen comrade behind on the field of battle. Instead, we are bound by our word of Honor to bring home our brave warriors so that they are laid to rest, and so that their loved ones and our nation can grieve their loss and heal. It is they whom we remember this Memorial Day. We must hold true to that core value of Honor for our brave men and women who have served faithfully. Now, our nation turns its back on them when they falter because of their immigration status. Though suffering the battle scars and injuries of their service that lead them astray, these warriors are dying alone and forgotten in forlorn places, far distances from their homes, their families and their communities. No taps will be played for them, no flag draped on their casket and there will be no 21-gun farewell salute. Over the years the memories of their faces and voices dim. Yet, like a beacon, their faithful service in our armed forces shines bright. Let us restore the Honor of America by stopping the wrongful deportation, abandonment and yes, the deaths of our soldiers on a political battlefield where the war continues for them. We will not stop until all warriors come home.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/