SAN ANTONIO, Texas – General Bernardo Gálvez, is one of the greatest U.S. heroes of the American Revolution.
To recognize his exceptionally distinctive service during the early years of our nation, Senate Joint Resolution 38 (SJ Res 38) was written as the official recognition in the U.S. Congress granting him honorary U.S. citizenship. The bill has already passed the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, the bill is stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
With all due respect, I am asking Rio Grande Guardian readers, especially parents, teachers, school and college students, to contact Senator John Cornyn and urge him to lead the effort and bring the bill up for a voice vote.
The honor is a just one. Two other non-U.S. born leaders of the U.S. revolution have been duly honored. France’s General Lafayette received his honorary citizenship in 2002, and Poland’s General Pulaski was so honored in 2009. It is only proper that Spain’s General Gálvez now receive equal tribute.
For anyone who is not familiar with General Gálvez and wishes to learn more, I’ve included below a letter to Senator Cornyn that briefly describes General Gálvez’ heroic efforts to gain U.S. independence from Great Britain.
Let Senator Cornyn know that you support the bill and ask that he lead the effort to take it out of committee and bring it to the floor for a voice vote. Please visit the following website to send Senator Cornyn your email: http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/. For Senator Cruz: http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=email_senator.
All you need to do is leave the following message: “Please support S.J. Res 38 by Unanimous Consent to grant Spanish General Bernardo de Gálvez Honorary Citizenship for his aid during the American Revolution. This is a cost-free, non-controversial bill that will honor our war heroes. Thank you for your support.”
If you’d rather call the senator’s Washington, D.C., office and leave the same message, his number is 202.224.2934. (Senator Cruz: 202.224.5922.)
We only have two weeks to petition our elected representatives. So, you need to send your message now. There is strength in numbers. Let’s unite our voices and together we can make it happen. Thank you.
November 27, 2014
U.S. Senator John Cornyn
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Senator Cornyn, thank you for your support to grant honorary citizenship to one of the greatest military heroes in U.S. history — General Bernardo Gálvez.
There’s no doubt that many people in the general public are unaware of his distinctive contributions to U.S. independence. It is for that reason that I kindly remind you of that incredible story we first heard from our elementary school teacher.
That memorable classroom lesson taught us that General George Washington’s Continental Army of starving, ill-dressed, and ill-equipped citizen soldiers were able to miraculously defeat mighty Great Britain, one of the strongest superpowers of that time. How was that possible?
While historians have written volumes trying to answer the question, the impact and value of General Gálvez’ contributions have eluded their attention and gratitude. That is, until now.
Very briefly, General Gálvez championed the 13 U.S. colonies’ independence from the start. For example, he wrote often to Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia. He organized a Spanish Army that at its height numbered over 7,000 troops and stretched from Texas to Florida. He engaged and defeated the English fort in West Florida. English forts at Mobile and Pensacola were soon in flames as well, forcing the English general to surrender. The brilliantly executed Battle of Pensacola was won, banning the English from the Gulf of Mexico.
So, how was General Washington able to defeat the more powerful English Army? A good part of the answer is that the English had to deploy nearly half of their forces to fight General Gálvez.
Senator, most U.S. children today recognize Marquis de Lafayette as a champion of U.S. independence. It is time that they get to know an equally impressive U.S. ally by the name of General Bernardo Gálvez. He truly deserves to be recognized as a U.S. citizen. Thank you.
José Antonio López