Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Just a Thought" Column continues in La Prensa of SA, 9-21

Just a Thought: Celebrating Diez Y Seis
By Steve Walker

San Antonio loves to party year round especially in September because we celebrate Diez Y Seis, Mexico’s Independence Day from Spain. Since those of Hispanic origin are the majority population in the Alamo City it is only logical we remember that rich Hispanic heritage. 
 
Those who studied Texas history know that Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla's called for the end of the Spanish rule in Mexico, September 16th, 1810. That same day in 1825, the Republic of Mexico officially declared September 16th to commemorate its freedom from Spain.

For 167 years the Alamo city has celebrated that declaration of freedom complete with parades and various festivities. I have participated in the annual Diez Y Seis Parade for years. As a Councilman in Balcones Heights I rode on a Balcones Heights float a number of years.
This year San Antonio’s celebration of Diez Y Seis coincides with the 40th birthday of its favorite sons HUD Secretary Julian Castro & twin brother Congressman Joaquin Castro. Born one minute before his younger sibling, Joaquin, Julian recently was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden last month as the youngest HUD Secretary in history.
This past week over 500 San Antonio residents, well-wishers, friends and former classmates, gathered at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts to celebrate the brother’s birthday. Along with the brothers were Julian’s wife Erica, and daughter Carina, and Joaquin’s wife Anna and daughter Andrea, and mother Rosie Castro, a long time civil rights activist.
Certainly not the first public birthday celebration of the brothers over the years, it was a milestone now that both are serving in Washington D.C. I have covered numerous of their joint birthday parties for a few years since they entered public service.

The party included mariachi singers, elected officials, dignitaries, various people of all ages to wish the duo a Diez Y Seis “Happy Birthday.”

As San Antonio Mayor and City Councilman, Julian served nearly three terms as Mayor after three terms as District 7 Councilman. His brother Joaquin served three terms as a State Rep. covering the same area in the legislature before his current two terms as Congressman.

The reader may remember former Mayor Julian Castro was the keynote speaker at the 2012 National Democratic Convention. That was a San Antonio celebration in itself.

Now that Diez Y Seis is history, we can anticipate and look to next year’s celebration with San Antonio’s two favorite sons, Julian and Joaquin.

As always, I write “Just a Thought.”

Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran, former Journalist and Justice of the Peace.

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