Last Friday, Milpitas had its first ever Mexican Independence Day Flag Raising at the Cesar Chavez Plaza.
The event was sponsored by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and coordinated by Milpitas Vice Mayor Carmen Montano, Planning Commissioner Sonia Medina-Ashby, and Milpitas Chamber of Commerce Board Director Juliette Gomez.
The event featured guest speaker Rigo Chacon, who was the Bay Area’s first Hispanic TV reporter. He is a three-time Emmy Award-winner and a retired KGO South Bay Bureau Chief. When he got up to address the crowd, Chacon announced that he had attended Samuel Ayer High School – the very first high school in Milpitas. Upon hearing this, the crowd applauded.
“As we pause to celebrate on this 16th of September, we need to remember that it was only 34 years after July 4, 1776 that that happened in Mexico,” said Chacon to the audience.
At Tuesday night’s Council Meeting, Vice Mayor Montano thanked the community for being there and helping to make the event a success.
Councilmember Karina Dominguez spoke after Montano, and voiced criticism over how the flag-raising went: “We didn’t raise the Mexican flag appropriately, and we also did not sing or play the anthem for that country,” said Dominguez.
Dominguez was referring to how both the American flag and the Mexican Flag had been accidentally raised at the same time, while Montano was singing the U.S. National Anthem.
Vice Mayor Montano responded to Dominguez’s criticisms by saying that things weren’t perfect, but that they learned a lot to make the event even better next year…
“You’ve got to look at the positive,” said Montano. “The positive is it was the first flag-raising ceremony of raising the Mexican flag. And we have to look at the joy and the community spirit that it brought to the community.”
Dominguez and Montano are running against one another for Mayor of Milpitas on this November’s ballot; their fellow Councilmember Anthony Phan is also in the race, along with retired geologist Voltaire Montemayor, Real Estate Agent/Mobile Home Expert Franco Perez, and Entrepreneur Ola Hassan.
Performances by the Randall Elementary School Folkloric Dancers and the Calpulli Tonalehqueh Aztec Dancers Danza Azteca wowed the big crowd in attendance. Live music was provided by Mariachi Estelar. Juliette Gomez also read a poem that she wrote, entitled “I am a Mexican American.”
Said Vice Mayor Montano in an interview with The Beat, “My proudest moment was when the Randall Elementary School Folklorico students performed. It was truly in community spirit.”
Last month, the City of Milpitas held a historic 75th Anniversary Indian Independence Day Flag-Raising. And next month, on October 1, Milpitas will host a Filipino Flag-Raising.