I can’t help it. When I’m in Washington, D.C., and I walk past a monument to some brave fallen soldiers, a statue of a brave revolutionary war hero, or a momentous sepia toned document, I’m deeply moved. Like any American, I’m proud to be associated with our country’s historical greatness.

But as a Latino, I know that the history of my forebears is not directly connected to that of those brave Anglo-Saxon Protestants. I admire them, but they aren’t mine.

Imagine my pleasure on my last visit to the Capitol, when I found the statue of the Rev. Junipero Serra. I was so surprised. Here was a statue of a Hispanic hero and soon-to-be Catholic saint. It is the only statue of a Hispanic in the Congress’ National Statuary Hall, sent by the state of California and acknowledging with reverence the contributions of Hispanics and Catholic missionaries. Pope Francis is scheduled to canonize Father Serra during his visit to our country in September.

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