by Lily Griego
History Colorado is gathering and sharing memories that celebrate our state’s rich Hispano culture. Please send us your story! Here, Lily Griego, shares the seventh in our new monthly series produced exclusively with “The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.”
We made our way into San Luis, the oldest town in the state. The rain had just stopped, and we struggled to find fresh flowers. Nevertheless, we found the cemetery and the graves of my great-grandparents and great uncle. The cemetery is filled with Hispanic surnames and the souls of those who originally settled in southern Colorado long ago.
My mom gently wept when she saw their names and began to speak about her memories of her childhood. She shared that her grandfather would place her on his lap, handing her a pair of scissors to cut his mustache. She described in detail, all in Spanish, how he would advise her to cut straight across and how he trusted her to do it.
We honor the lives well lived by the men of our family who went to war because they were told to and served with glory and pride in América and then came back home to a place where they eventually returned to dust in San Luis, Colorado.
The tradition of oral history continued for the next few days. After meeting our family for dinner, we gathered around a kitchen table to look at photos. I listened to my family laugh and cry over powerful memories and stories that are their lives, and my history. It was there that I saw the photos of my grandfather in his uniform for the first time. I was moved by the men in my family who served with steadfast loyalty to the USA and who left families at young ages. They came home with the horror of war ingrained in their minds to work the land of Colorado and continue to be good citizens.
My family continues to honor the men and women who serve our country every day. We especially reflect on the face of sadness of any mother who sees her son leaving to war. We honor the lives well lived by the men of our family who went to war because they were told to and served with glory and pride in América and then came back home to a place where they eventually returned to dust in San Luis, Colorado.
Would you like to contribute to We Are Colorado? Send us your story about your Hispano-Colorado connection! Must be 250 words or less. Please include a picture, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For More Information on History Colorado: WWW.HISTORYCOLORADO.ORG