VFW Commemorates Hispanic Heritage Month

The VFW takes the opportunity to recognize and celebrate Hispanics for their contributions throughout American history

WASHINGTON — The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is proud to celebrate our nation’s Hispanic service members, veterans and their families during National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

Hispanic Heritage MonthSince the Revolutionary War, Hispanic Americans and immigrants have served with honor and distinction in large numbers in every conflict up to present day. Among them, 61 were awarded the Medal of Honor.

To celebrate Hispanic Americans contributions to the nation, the 90th Congress introduced legislation to authorize the president to designate the week of Sept. 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Week. The day of Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed bill for the national observance into law. Twenty years later, President Ronald Reagan expanded the observance to 30 days.

Today, the observance commemorates the heritage of U.S.-born and naturalized Hispanic American citizens, as well as Hispanic immigrants to the United States from Latin American countries. According to the Department of Defense, 17.2% of active-duty military personnel from all service branches identify as Hispanic or Latino.

Every American president since President Lyndon Johnson, both Democrat and Republican, has issued proclamations for the commemoration. The 2023 White House proclamation on National Hispanic Heritage Month can be found here.

The more than 1.4 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary salute all Hispanic service members, veterans and their families for their indelible contributions to our freedom and our way of life.