Hispanic Heritage Observance_ file photo.jpg

FORT LEE, Va. -- Fort Lee’s annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration is set for Sept. 20, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., at the Lee Theater. Admission is free and open to the public.

The 2018 observance theme is “Hispanics: One Endless Voice to Enhance our Traditions.” It is a message that invites all Americans to reflect on the traditions, history and culture of the Hispanic people, and honor their many contributions to this nation.

The installation event will be hosted by the 59th Ordnance Brigade. Organizers outlined two primary goals of the observance – the emphasis of diversity and educating attendees about Hispanic culture.

Selection of a guest speaker was still a discussion in progress at press time. That information will be announced in a future issue of the Traveller (print and online) and through social media channels.

Confirmed items on the agenda include dances by children of Echo Company, 16th Ord. Battalion Soldiers; a performance by a local Hispanic cultural group; food tastings; and music from the 392nd Army Band.

The national Hispanic Heritage Month observance runs from Sept. 15 - Oct. 15. When it started in 1968, it was only a week-long event launched by then-President Lyndon Johnson. It was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988, with the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The observance recognizes the important contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrates their heritage and culture. Sept. 15 is a significant date because it’s the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day, or Día de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls within this 30-day period.

Those from the local community who would like to attend the program are reminded that a valid government-issued picture ID card, or a post pass with accompanying driver’s license, is required for access to the installation. Additional details can be found at www.lee.army.mil/pmo/access.aspx.

For more information about the Sept. 20 observance, call Sgt. 1st Class Kevin J. Rainey, 59th Ord. Brigade equal opportunity advisor, at 804-734-6497.