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Opinions & Editorials Volver a "Opinions & Editorials"

Op-ed: Tejano Monument to make Texans proud

From the Office of Senator Leticia Van de Putte | 01 de febrero de 2012

Editor's note: Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte shares her thoughts and experience from Jan 13, the day Texas broke ground to erect the Tejano Monument at the Texas State Capitol. It took more than ten years and a great deal of effort on the part of many individuals to raise more than $1 million  to finally formally recognize the role of Tejanos in out great state's history with this monument that will commomorate the early Spanish and Mexican pioneers.

San Antonio.- Editor's note: Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte shares her thoughts and experience from Jan 13, the day Texas broke ground to erect the Tejano Monument at the Texas State Capitol. It took more than ten years and a great deal of effort on the part of many individuals to raise more than $1 million  to finally formally recognize the role of Tejanos in out great state's history with this monument that will commomorate the early Spanish and Mexican pioneers.

By Senator Leticia Van de Putte

January 13 was a great day for our state's Mexican-Americans, and really, for anyone who wants to better understand the history of our great state. That morning, several of my legislative colleagues and I broke ground on the future site of the Tejano Monument at the State Capitol. This monument has been a long time coming.

Officially, that long time began in 2001, when then-state Rep. Ismail "Kino" Flores and Sen. Mario Gallegos sponsored a resolution calling for a monument commemorating the early Spanish and Mexican pioneers in Texas.

But really, it began much further back than that — back before Texas became a state, before it became a republic, back to when Mexico was called New Spain.

Tejanos, of course, are the Texans who are the original Spanish and Mexican pioneers, and their descendants. Most likely, if you're reading this paper … you are one. Tejanos were and are crucial to the history and culture of Texas, but too often, their accomplishments have been overlooked — including at our Capitol. This monument, which will be located on the southeast quadrant of the Capitol grounds, will be a strong step toward rectifying that.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, state Rep. Richard Raymond of Laredo said someone once told him, "It will be a cold day in hell before you get that built.

"Well," he joked, "some say the Texas Capitol is hell, and today it's cold."

Indeed, it took so long because the road to funding it was rocky. But in 2007, the state supplied more than $1 million in funds, and private fundraising by Tejano Monument Inc. has raised another $800,000.

Some of the many generous contributors include International Bank of Commerce, American Electric Power, AT&T, and Marathon Oil Company, and at the groundbreaking, Wal-Mart donated $100,000 to the Tejano History Curriculum Project, an educational initiative that will include approximately 40 topics from Tejano history, including the monument.

Celebrated painter, sculptor and educator Armando Hinojosa of Laredo was selected to design the monument, and he has created a work to make all Texans proud. Models of the monument powerfully depict a conquistadora exploring what would become the Lone Star State, a vaquero driving longhorn cattle and settler families establishing their homes.

For too much of Texas' history, Tejanos have been excluded, made to feel like outsiders in their own home.

After March 29, when the monument is finally dedicated, I hope they will view it with pride and say, "This is our state. We helped create it. We helped build it.We help define it. And we are essential to its future."

Go to www.TejanoMonument.com for more details, including pictures of what the finished monument will look like.

  • 01 de febrero de 2012 - 21:05 GMT #1. Renato Ramirez
    [ contestar ]

    CEO, IBC-Zapata

    it was a great ceremony, enhanced by Sen. Van de Putte's presence. Only thing better was watching the excavator begin digging on the South Lawn of the Capitol one week later.
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