Via Reynaldo Leanos, Jr.
Daniel Fernandez, 21, an Military Specialist Fourth Magnificence was once on a project in Vietnam when he and others had been seeking to save a wounded soldier. After they got here below enemy hearth, Fernandez jumped over a wounded sergeant and onto a grenade to offer protection to others, sacrificing his personal lifestyles to save lots of them.
Fernandez is considered one of about 60 Latinos who’ve been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the easiest award given to an individual serving within the Armed Services and products for bravery in motion in opposition to an enemy drive.
Fernandez and 5 different Latino recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor who’ve ties to New Mexico are being venerated at an showcase known as “New Mexico Place of origin Heroes: Hispanic Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients” on the Nationwide Hispanic Cultural Middle in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The showcase, which opened Thursday, celebrates their lives and repair within the Armed Forces.
The showcase honors Global Battle II veterans Personal Joseph Martínez, Personal José Valdez and Grasp Sgt. Alejandro Ruíz. It additionally celebrates Vietnam Battle 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 Power for 4 years, was once on the opening reception. He mentioned he’s at all times 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 recollections of his older brother concerned their adolescence as a result of he was once most effective 16 when his brother was once killed out of the country, however he recollects his as an adventurous individual and anyone who liked animals.
Fernandez was once about to begin his junior yr in highschool when Daniel got here again in short after his first excursion in Vietnam. They rode horses, which Daniel liked to do.
Throughout Daniel’s keep, Fernandez recollects a dialog he had with him about his time all the way through the warfare, a dialog that stunned him.
“He instructed me that he may just no longer shoot till he were shot at,” mentioned Fernandez. He recalled considering 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 struggle.
“For him to return house and inform me that’s what he was once going thru, that he may just no longer 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 showcase.
“Like several different veterans, those are folks that sacrificed the whole lot 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 combating for our nation, had been right here, I don’t know what they’d be occupied with 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 necessary for her group, which incorporated Patrick Trujillo who helped co-curate the showcase, to constitute the cultural and familial facet of those courageous males’s lives.
“Latinos and Hispanic American citizens have a protracted valued custom of army provider, whether or not they’re United States born or they arrive from some other nation,” mentioned Uremovich.
The showcase shall be on show till mid-January.
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