05/27/2012 11:54 am ET Updated Jul 27, 2012

Memorial Day: A Time to Remember Our Latino Veterans

By Javier D. Martinez, Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, NCLR, U.S. Army veteran

As millions of Americans plan their Memorial Day weekend activities, NCLR would like to take the time to remember our Latino men and women currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

We also commemorate those brave Hispanic men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our nation. We should never forget the vital role they played in helping all Americans enjoy our basic fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In observance of this day, we call on you to join NCLR in a National Moment of Remembrance, which will take place Monday at 3:00 p.m. local time across the country. Pause for a moment and reflect on the lives of our nation's fallen heroes.

This moment of reflection is the least we can do to honor the lives of these brave Latino men and women, but we must also remember those who continue to serve honorably at home and abroad. Today, more than 1.3 million Latinos serve in our armed forces and almost 16 percent of all newly enlisted, active duty members of all branches of the military are Hispanic. We are also veterans. In 2009, 1.1 million Latinos were veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and that number continues to grow.

NCLR stands committed to ensuring that all of our service members, veterans, and their families are honored for their selfless service to our country. We will not forget the daily sacrifices they made, and continue to make, so that their fellow Americans can share in and enjoy the American Dream.

Remember to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time, Monday, May 28.

This was first posted to the NCLR Blog.