Chamizal National Memorial | Photo courtesy NPS/Facebook
Chamizal National Memorial Superintendent F. Gus Sanchez announced that the South El Paso landmark will recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month in 2019, starting this Saturday.
The Chamizal National Memorial was established to commemorate the monumental achievement of Mexico and the United States to settle a longstanding disagreement through mutual respect, goodwill, and diplomacy.
“Such a heritage is one to be proud of, and we are happy to offer these events to help the El Paso community recognize the achievements of Hispanics and discuss issues that continue to affect Mexican Americans and our neighbors in Mexico. We appreciate the efforts of the Amigos del Chamizal Foundation to bring these opportunities to Chamizal National Memorial,” said Superintendent Sanchez.
The Chamizal National Memorial will present three special events, in partnership with Amigos del Chamizal Foundation.
Each presentation begins at 7 pm and is free to the public, first come first served.
Saturday, September 13: The Forgotten Eagles, a documentary about Mexico’s 201st Fighter Squadron and their contribution to the Allied Forces during World War II.
This film, brought to El Paso by the Amigos del Chamizal Foundation and Legacy of Valor, highlights the remarkable but little-known story of 300 volunteer soldiers, including 50 pilots, from Mexico and their participation alongside the United States in the combat that led to the liberation of the Philippines.
General Douglas MacArthur recognized the contribution of “Escuadrón 201,” and they were welcomed as heroes when they stopped through El Paso on their way back to Mexico after the war ended in 1945. Today, however, there is an effort underway to formally honor their contributions.
Documentarian (producer of The Men of Company E), Alfredo Lugo, will speak after the film about his involvement with House Resolution 1889, which seeks to award the soldiers with a Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. The maker of the film The Forgotten Eagles, Victor Mancilla, will also be present for closing comments and questions.
Saturday, September 20: And Then They Came For Us, a film about the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Even after multiple generations, this story remains relevant as our country struggles today to appropriately balance national security with individual liberty in times of other perceived threats.
Wednesday, September 25: Commemoration of the 55th anniversary of the ceremony at Bowie High School with Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Adolfo López Mateos to mark the settlement of the Chamizal dispute. Former El Paso City Planner Nestor Valencia will give a presentation about the negotiations and his involvement in the resolution.
Chamizal National Memorial will also receive a letter of appreciation and commemorative medallion that was given to a Bowie alumnus from President Johnson and has been stored in recent years at the high school.
For more information about the event on September 13th or the film The Forgotten Eagles, contact Arnulfo Hernández, Jr. at 916-616-4211, Alfredo Lugo at 562-706-3286, Carlos Rivera at 915-255-8877, or Fernie Bermúdez at 915-491-7726.