Advocate editorial board opinion: Celebrate, recognize Cinco de Mayo as part of our culture

By the Advocate Editorial Board
May 4, 2011 at 12:04 a.m.

Cinco de Mayo, or the Fifth of May, is a day to celebrate your patriotism. The day does not take a side, but it is all about recognition.

So we urge all to celebrate this important day in Texas. Celebrate our collective culture and recognize our patriotism.

Hernan Jaso, former mayor of Goliad, said he was proud to be among negotiators with officials in the state of Puebla, Mexico, for a statue of Gen. Ignacio Seguin Zaragoza. Zaragoza was instrumental in defeating a much larger French force at Puebla on May 5, 1862, and the victory rallied Mexico toward independence. But it is not Mexico's independence day. Independence Day in Mexico is Diez y Seis de Septiembre .

Gen. Zaragoza was born in Goliad, so the relationship between Goliad and Mexico's state of Puebla is sealed.

"Tim Von Dolan was the chief negotiator. And in September 1980, a great dedication from the White House on was held," Jaso said.

Jaso noted that the 10-foot-high bronze statue brought to Goliad by the state of Puebla also is the only official state site (by legislative action) recognizing Cinco de Mayo.

"I'm very proud to have been a part of the negotiations for that statue," he said.

This year, Goliad marks its 67th Cinco de Mayo celebration, which benefits students, Jaso said. Last year, the event helped to bestow 10 scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each.

Many people from Mexico travel to Goliad for the celebration, which has been growing year to year for the past 40 years. Before that, Jaso said practically no celebrations were held.

"Now, every hamlet has one," he said. And that means festive clothing, foods, music and more.

Again, we hope everybody has a good time on this special day. As Jaso said, the day is about recognition, just like St. Patrick's Day. And, while you are enjoying this special celebration, as with any celebration, be sure to arrive back home safely.

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



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