South Toledo celebration honors Latino veterans - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

South Toledo celebration honors Latino veterans

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Latino veterans have played an important role in American history. Friday June 6 they were remembered at a south Toledo celebration. Since the United States fought for its independence there have been many Latinos who have honorably put their lives on the line for their country.

Toledo's Latino veterans are being honored at the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center. Many people say the celebration is long overdue.

"Often times people consider the Latinos as not being United States citizens and we want people to know that Latinos have been in the country many, many years," said Maria Rodriguez-Winter of the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center.

Case in point: President Obama recently handed out 25 Medals of Honor. Nineteen went to Latinos.

"In my family, with all the family members counted, we've got over 120 years of service in the military," said Vince Bomingued, Korean War veteran.

It's no coincidence this celebration is being held on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy.

"D-Day opened up a lot of doors for us and showed us what courage and what the American people stood for," said Vietnam War veteran Eleoeo Martinez.

One local Latino veteran remembered on Friday night was Benigno Salazar. It was just learned the name of this brave World War II veteran is not on downtown Toledo's war memorial.

"That being the case, we are going to approach the city to make sure the memorial has his name on it if we find out it belongs there," said Arturo Quintero, Vietnam War veteran.

No matter the ethnic background, attendants believe all veterans share the same trait

"One word: patriot. That is how we should be remembered. A patriot," said Quintero.