Building Bridges, Not Barriers

Editor’s Note: The following is a message from the United Migrant Opportunity (UMOS).

On September 10, 2017, UMOS, with the community, celebrated Mexican Independence Day that originally celebrated on September 16, 1810. This year marked the 46th year of celebration in Milwaukee.

The September 16th celebration is held to commemorate the decades of political unrest that took place in Mexico, proceeding Miguel Hidalgo’s cry of Delores in 1810. Every year the Grito ceremony has been performed honoring the country’s bloody struggle for independence from Spain. “We were happy, thankful and deeply honored that the Consul of Mexico-Milwaukee, Julian Adem Díaz de Leon, authenticated our ceremony with his performance of the Grito,” says LupeMartinez, President and Chief Executive Officer, UMOS.

Originally, the Mexican Independence Day celebration in Milwaukee was coordinated by Mr. Filiberto Murguia, former executive director of the Spanish Center in Milwaukee. The Parade marched down National Avenue and ended with the festival at Mitchell Park. UMOS began coordinating the event in 1980.  Today, the 80-parade units march down Oklahoma Avenue and ends with the festival at the UMOS Center on Chase Ave.

Celebration of the event is still relevant today.

The relevance is about the freedom and the importance of building bridges, not barriers: building brides to our neighboring Mexico, yes, as well as building bridges with other countries.  Furthermore, the relevance also pertains to building bridges between cultures, building bridges among races, building bridges among the young and the old, and building bridges, not barriers, based on similarities that we all share as human beings.

We at UMOS want to thank the many volunteers, the many financial sponsors, our media partners, including The Spanish Journal of Wisconsin, the entertainers, and the thousands of supporters that came out to watch the parade and celebrate Mexican Independence Day at the festival. UMOS is in the business of “Building Better Futures,” one bridge at a time.

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