Rep. Michael Capuano Recognizes Latino Community's Accomplishments During Hispanic Heritage Month

October 1, 2002

"Mr. Speaker,"

"I rise today to recognize the many contributions made by the Latino community to our nation. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, it is fitting that we pay tribute to America's diversity and celebrate the role that immigrant communities played in the history of our nation."

"Millions of Hispanic men and women have come to the United States from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and other Caribbean regions, Central America, South America and Spain, in search of freedom and the opportunity for a more prosperous future. They brought with them a commitment to family, a strong work ethic and a firm belief in the American Dream."

"Hispanic culture continues to shape the American experience, During this month, let us recognize the important contributions Hispanics have made socially, economically and politically, including the vibrant Hispanic American spirit that has influenced our nation's art, music and cuisine. One of the most significant contributions made by Latinos is to our national defense. Hispanics fought for the United States in every war and approximately 80,000 men and women are currently on active duty."

"Latinos are also the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, currently representing 12.5% of the total population. More than 30 million Americans claim Hispanic origin. I represent Massachusetts' 8th Congressional District, where more than 15% of my constituents are Hispanic. That number continues to grow. In a Nation that derives its strength from many cultures and races, Hispanic Americans are a thriving force in our society and a vital part of our economy."

"This month and always, let us celebrate the talents, culture and spirit Hispanic Americans have brought and continue to share with this great nation."

"Thank you."