News>JBA Hispanic Heritage Month hits the ground running
Civilians and service members participate in a 5 kilometer run in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month Sep. 12, 2012 on Joint Base Andrews, Md. National Hispanic Heritage Month officially runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and celebrates the contributions Hispanic Americans have made to American society and culture. ( U.S Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)
Capt. Andrew P. Covert, Naval Air Facility Washington commander, delivers opening remarks prior to the start of a National Hispanic Heritage Month five kilometer run and one kilometer walk Sept. 12, 2012. National Hispanic Heritage Month officially runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and celebrates the contributions Hispanic Americans have made to American society and culture. ( U.S Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)
by 1st Lt Ashleigh Peck
Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
9/14/2012 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The Joint Team Andrews Hispanic Heritage Month Committee hosted a 5 kilometer run and 1 kilometer walk Sep. 12 on Joint Base Andrews, Md., to kick off the Hispanic Heritage Month of observance.
Opening remarks were given by Naval Air Facility Washington Commander Capt. Andrew P. Covert and closing remarks were given by Air Force District of Washington Vice Commander Col. Michael E. Gantt.
"It's great to see the joint team coming together today from so many different backgrounds to include the Air Force and Navy," Gantt said. "We all come to America for a variety of reasons and we all decide to serve for a variety of reasons. I think this diversity helps make the U.S. Armed Forces the best in the world."
National Hispanic Heritage Month officially runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and celebrates the contributions Hispanic Americans have made to American society and culture. Hispanics, or Latinos, are persons of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central-American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
President Lyndon Johnson approved Hispanic American heritage observance as a week-long event in 1968. It was later extended to a 30-day event by President Ronald Regan in 1988.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the observance month time frame was selected because it is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.
The joint base community will be celebrating this year's theme, "Diversity United, Building America's Future Today," with a variation of events planned throughout the month to include ethnic food tasting, educational events throughout JBA Child Development Centers and a finale event at The Club at Andrews. See the list below for details on the planned events.
Hispanic Heritage Month events
Sep. 18, 25, 26: Educate the youth at JBA Child Development Centers about the Hispanic Heritage culture with literature, arts and crafts.
Sept 21, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. : Cultural food tasting and salsa dancing demonstration hosted by 11th Wing Commander Col. William Knight
Oct. 12, 5 p.m. - 2 a.m. : Grand Finale event including happy hour, photography and dance lessons at The Club at Andrews with entertainment and prizes.