Hispanic Monument Construction Begins

May 5, 2012 Updated Oct 23, 2013 at 12:41 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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May 5, 2012 Updated Oct 23, 2013 at 12:41 AM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. ( release ) Saturday morning on the dawn of the Cinco de Mayo Celebrations here in Western New York, the construction began for the Hispanic American Veterans Memorial Monument at Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park between the Korean and Rust Bucket Monuments.

The first landmark of its kind for Hispanic Americans in the region, the monument will honor the service of past, present and future Hispanic American Veterans from Western New York.

Two units will be recognized and memorialized. The Gabriel A. Rodriguez Post 1928, American Legion, which no longer exists but represented the only symbol of Hispanic American participation in the U. S. Armed Forces here in Western New York and the 65th Infantry Regiment, a unit mostly composed of Puerto Ricans who participated in missions during World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

A group of volunteers led by Joe Mascia and Jeff Cornman with donations from Gernett Materials, Iroqouis Bar & Steel, Buffalo Ready Mix & Concrete, Mike Serafini Trucking and Home Depot all pitched in to begin laying the foundation for the Memorial.

Casimiro Rodriguez a member of the committee who is also leading the fundraising efforts said; the unveiling is predicated on the funds needed to complete, it is hoped that the symbolic beginning of this work will energize businesses, corporations and individual to contribute and make the monument possible that will cost $ 150,000.

Donations can be made to Hispanic American Veterans Memorial of WNY c/o Hispanics United of Buffalo P.O. Box 532 Buffalo, New York 14201.