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Memorial Day: A Latino Perspective

La Prensa-San Diego, Posted: May 26, 2008

SAN DIEGO -- As Americans pay tribute to our fallen men and women soldiers this Memorial Day, Gus Chavez writes in the bilingual newspaper La Prensa-San-Diego, there is no question over the patriotism, participation and commitment exhibited by U.S. Latinos and Latinas. More than 500,000 Latinos fought in World War II and thousands more fought in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The Latino combined death toll in these three wars alone was in the thousands and represented warriors from all communities including Puerto Rico. The first recorded American death in Iraq was 28-year-old U.S. Marine Lance CPL Jose Gutierrez, a U.S. green card holder from Guatemala City, Guatemala. To date, more than 391 Latinos have been killed in Iraq.

Until recently, the Latino U.S. military experience had not been recognized by many as being vital and important to our history. Whether we are citizens, resident aliens or undocumented persons, we have been loyal fighting patriots, Chavez writes. To our fallen Latino and Latina warriors on this Memorial Day, we dont say goodbye to you, he writes. We say gracias and may you rest in peace.



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