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Exhibit celebrates 6 Latino Medal of Honor Recipients

Via Reynaldo Leanos, Jr.

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

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

Fernandez and 5 different Latino recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor who’ve ties to New Mexico are being commemorated at an show off known as “New Mexico Place of birth Heroes: Hispanic Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients” on the Nationwide Hispanic Cultural Middle 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 Conflict.Nationwide Hispanic Cultural Middle

The show off honors Global Conflict II veterans Non-public Joseph Martínez, Non-public José Valdez and Grasp Sgt. Alejandro Ruíz. It additionally celebrates Vietnam Conflict veterans Fernandez and Louis Rocco, and Leroy Petry of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The entire recipients are deceased excluding 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, in line with his quotation.

“Sacrificed the entirety”

Fernandez’s brother, Peter Fernandez who served within the Air Pressure for 4 years, was once on the opening reception. He mentioned he’s all the time seemed 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 youth as a result of he was once best 16 when his brother was once killed in another country, however he recalls his as an adventurous individual and any person who beloved animals.

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

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

“He advised me that he may now not shoot till he were shot at,” mentioned Fernandez. He recalled pondering he had a brother “who was once so dedicated to protecting our nation,” but everybody at house gave the impression so hostile to the entire battle.

“For him to return house and inform me that’s what he was once going via, that he may now not shoot till he was once shot, in my thoughts, I virtually felt too, why are we over there?” mentioned Fernandez.

The wish to stay those tales alive and get a greater working out of who those recipients had been is without doubt one of the issues Fernandez hopes other folks remove from the show off.

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

“Like any different veterans, those are folks that sacrificed the entirety in protection of our nation,” mentioned Fernandez. “Presently in our lives, we wish 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 desirous about the state of our nation and the way divided it’s.”

Anna V. Uremovich, an archivist on the Nationwide Hispanic Cultural Middle, mentioned it was once vital for her staff, which incorporated 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 some other nation,” mentioned Uremovich.

The show off might be on show till mid-January.

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