Advocate editorial board opinion: Younger generation owes thanks to leaders like Benny Martinez

Not many today can say they remember facing discrimination, so we cherish those who do remember, like Benny Martinez, who recently received a lifetime achievement award for six decades of servitude in the League of United Latin American Citizens.

People like Martinez are the reason the U.S. now celebrates heritages throughout the year, like Hispanic Heritage month, which runs Sunday-Oct. 15.

Martinez and countless others dreamed big, just like Martin Luther King Jr., knowing very well that they needed to be treated by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

We celebrate this month along with Martinez, understanding very well his journey and the journeys of others like him have been rough and bumpy. We also know that the fight will continue.

Martinez' passion to be heard should not only be a mission for young Hispanics but also for every young person no matter what their background.

Young minds need to embrace diversity and remember not to lose touch with their culture. Strive to learn who you are and where you came from.

Never settle for just being another person taking life how it is handed to you - challenge and inspire yourself to make a difference in your ethnic group and your community.

Break down those barriers even further, just like Martinez has for 60 years.

Though our younger generations never lived the life of blatant discrimination like Martinez did, we think they should always try to be more like those before us who asked questions and most importantly, demanded answers.

Martinez has contended that education is the key to fighting for yourself and others, and we second that motion.

Do not let your voices go silent; the fight is never over.

We should continue searching for equality, and once we think we've found it - we should search some more.

Our hats go off to Martinez for more than half a century of trying to make the world a more peaceful place.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.