Hispanic Heritage Celebration: Noche de Unidad By Emily Dwyer

“Noche de Unidad”, or “A Night of Unity”: One couldn’t think of a more fitting theme for this year’s annual Hispanic Heritage Night Celebration at Centereach High School. The evening was composed of stunning dance performances, touching essay readings and speeches, and delicious traditional foods of Hispanic culture. Tables were set up to learn about various countries of Spanish descent. A flag ceremony was held in which each middle school representative would hold up a flag for a different Hispanic nation. This ceremony is what made the primary impact on me that evening. The message of this was that each one of these countries was united together, to rejoice in their diversity and to share in their commonalities. The significance of this message in our nation today is vital. That each one of those flags is a part of our flag too. Each diverse culture and ethnicity that our population is composed of is what makes us beautiful. Our differences joining as one is what makes America ALREADY great. The stirring joy that was palpable in the room that night as people from around the community of all races, backgrounds, and ethnicities joined together to celebrate Hispanic Culture. Everyone was dancing together, eating together, and learning together about the diverse values and traditions of others. As Maya Angelou once said, “In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” We must always remember that our differences are to be valued, not used for division. We can never fear each other because we don’t look or speak the same, but rather learn about others to understand one another better. That is what Hispanic Heritage Night illuminated for us all. Un Noche de Unidad. A Night of Unity. Let us not join in this unity for just one night. Let us hold on to that gift as we go into the future. “When we all help each other out, when we stand together, we are stronger together.”(Hillary Clinton)

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