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Exhibit celebrates 6 Latino Medal of Honor Recipients

Through Reynaldo Leanos, Jr.

Daniel Fernandez, 21, an Military Specialist Fourth Magnificence was once on a challenge in Vietnam when he and others had been looking to save a wounded soldier. Once they got here underneath enemy fireplace, Fernandez jumped over a wounded sergeant and onto a grenade to give protection to others, sacrificing his personal lifestyles to avoid wasting them.

Fernandez is considered one of about 60 Latinos who’ve been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the very best award given to an individual serving within the Armed Products and services for bravery in motion in opposition to an enemy pressure.

Fernandez and 5 different Latino recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor who’ve ties to New Mexico are being venerated at an show off referred to as “New Mexico Fatherland Heroes: Hispanic Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients” on the Nationwide Hispanic Cultural Heart in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The show off, which opened Thursday, celebrates their lives and repair within the Armed Forces.

Daniel Fernandez, a 21-year-old Specialist Fourth Class in the Vietnam War.
Daniel Fernandez, a 21-year-old Specialist Fourth Magnificence within the Vietnam Warfare.Nationwide Hispanic Cultural Heart

The show off honors International Warfare II veterans Personal Joseph Martínez, Personal José Valdez and Grasp Sgt. Alejandro Ruíz. It additionally celebrates Vietnam Warfare veterans Fernandez and Louis Rocco, and Leroy Petry of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The entire recipients are deceased with the exception of Petry, who misplaced his hand when he picked up a reside grenade to verify it would not explode and harm or kill his fellow Rangers, consistent with his quotation.

“Sacrificed the whole lot”

Fernandez’s brother, Peter Fernandez who served within the Air Drive for 4 years, was once on the opening reception. He mentioned he’s all the time regarded as much as his older brother, who was once 5 years older than him, particularly for his dedication to the army.

Maximum of Fernandez’s reminiscences of his older brother concerned their early life as a result of he was once most effective 16 when his brother was once killed in another country, however he recalls his as an adventurous particular person and any individual who cherished animals.

Fernandez was once about to begin his junior 12 months in highschool when Daniel got here again in brief after his first excursion in Vietnam. They rode horses, which Daniel cherished to do.

Throughout Daniel’s keep, Fernandez recalls a dialog he had with him about his time all the way through the struggle, a dialog that shocked him.

“He informed me that he may just no longer shoot till he have been shot at,” mentioned Fernandez. He recalled pondering he had a brother “who was once so dedicated to protecting our nation,” but everybody at house appeared so antagonistic to the entire struggle.

“For him to come back house and inform me that’s what he was once going via, that he may just no longer shoot till he was once shot, in my thoughts, I nearly felt too, why are we over there?” mentioned Fernandez.

The want to stay those tales alive and get a greater figuring out of who those recipients had been is likely one of the issues Fernandez hopes folks remove from the show off.

The Medal of Honor rests on a flag.
The Medal of Honor rests on a flag.Handout / Getty Photographs

“Like any different veterans, those are those that sacrificed the whole lot in protection of our nation,” mentioned Fernandez. “Presently in our lives, we want to learn how to stand in combination extra, and if those Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, who had been in the market preventing for our nation, had been right here, I don’t know what they’d be serious about the state of our nation and the way divided it’s.”

Anna V. Uremovich, an archivist on the Nationwide Hispanic Cultural Heart, mentioned it was once necessary for her staff, which integrated Patrick Trujillo who helped co-curate the show off, to constitute the cultural and familial side of those courageous males’s lives.

“Latinos and Hispanic American citizens have an extended valued custom of army provider, whether or not they’re United States born or they arrive from any other nation,” mentioned Uremovich.

The show off will probably be on show till mid-January.


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