WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Sen. Tom Udall has issued a statement marking Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and celebrates the tremendous contributions Hispanic Americans have made to New Mexico and America:
“New Mexico enjoys a rich and diverse Hispanic heritage going back 400 years. From Spanish colonists to immigrants from Latin America, New Mexico’s Hispanic community has played an integral part in shaping our state’s history, economy, and culture—and will for generations to come.
“New Mexico is indebted to the traditions, leadership and service of our Hispanic residents. I am proud to serve in the office once held by the late New Mexican Dennis Chávez, the first American-born Hispanic elected to the U.S. Senate. Leaders like Senator Chávez, artist Eva Encinias Sandoval and the recently departed State Supreme Court Justice Dan Sosa Jr. helped blaze a trail for Hispanic and Latino Americans, both in New Mexico and across America, and their examples continue to inspire the leaders of tomorrow.
“The Hispanic and Latino community is incredibly diverse, representing a variety of nationalities, backgrounds, and experiences. However, Hispanic Americans from every corner of our state are brought together by the very same values that unite us as New Mexicans and Americans: family, hard work, faith, patriotism and perseverance through hardship. Hispanic Americans have fought and died for our freedoms since the Revolutionary War and continue to serve our country with distinction in the military. And I am humbled by the hard work and sacrifice of countless Hispanic Americans who have made our state and nation what it is today through business, education, the arts, and military and government service. Today, we stand shoulder to shoulder as we work to build a better future for New Mexico, a future where every family has access to a quality education, good health care, and a well-paying job—a future where everyone has a shot at the American dream.”