News | Sept. 15, 2016

Aviation employee's theme chosen for 2016 Hispanic Heritage Month

By Bonnie Koenig DLA Aviation Public Affairs

The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers announced the 2016 Hispanic Heritage Month theme: “Embracing, Enriching, and Enabling America.”  This year’s theme was submitted by Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s employee, Maurice Sanabria, chief, Command Programs Office, Command Support Directorate in Richmond, Virginia.

This is the second time Sanabria’s theme has been selected. His theme was also selected in 2012.

“Hispanics contribute in many different areas from politics, government, science, sports and the arts,” said Sanabria.

He said the inspiration came from his thoughts on being a Hispanic American himself and the contributions the Hispanic communities bring to the fabric and greatness of our nation. 

The theme is based on what he referred to as the three E’s. “Embracing, Enriching and Enabling are three words that capture the important aspects of the American experience,” said Sanabria. “Whether coming here for work or just a better life, there is an idea behind it as being the land of opportunity and a place where you can come and if you work hard, study hard, and do things the right way you can move forward and change your life.”

In describing ‘enabling,’ he said, it includes what Hispanics can bring to the table. “We bring knowledge, different experiences and work ethic,” he said. “We are also ‘enriching’ the American culture by bringing our traditions and customs and blending them with the American culture.”

He said when people think about the Hispanic culture, they usually think of first generation Hispanics, but being from Puerto Rico, my family are natural citizens of the United States and have been since 1913. “I can go back four generations in my family and all are American-born citizens,” said Sanabria. “The same is true for many Hispanics in this country.”

In our current political environment and the talk concerning immigration it is important to remember the contributions and enrichments the Hispanic culture brings to American culture. Sanabria said he hopes those participating in the celebrations and activities during Hispanic Heritage Month will embrace the culture and that it will remind us all that this country was built by immigrants coming to America and they helped build our diverse culture.

“The events held during month help to bring awareness, education, and understanding as well as a chance to celebrate another culture,” said Sanabria.