U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the highest-ranking Latino in Congress, released the following statement to mark the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15:
“Today, I join the Latino community and all Americans in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 2020. This year, as we reflect on the countless contributions of Hispanics throughout American history, we do so at a time of great sacrifice in our community.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Latino families especially hard. The loss of life in our community is a painful reminder of the injustices and inequities we have faced — throughout history and to this day.
“Yet, we remain as proud as ever of the Hispanic first responders, health care professionals and essential workers who risk their lives every day to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all Americans.
“In the face of these great challenges, Hispanic Heritage Month provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our proud past and recommit ourselves to a brighter future. It’s a future being built by Latino and Latina entrepreneurs, students, service members, artists and innovators across America every single day. So, as we celebrate our deep ties with this country, let us inspire others with our stories of hard work and sacrifice, of family and faith, of patriotism and innovation, of creative inspiration and devotion to the American dream.
“This month, as we celebrate our rich heritage and our undeniable history as a nation of immigrants, let’s be proud of our roots. Let’s reflect on our progress. And let’s make sure our voice is heard in every way possible, especially in the ballot box.
“Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!”