Tuesday, October 11, 2005

President Bush honors Nashville firefighter in Hispanic Heritage ceremony

Manuel FonsecaThe Tennessean reports that Nashville firefighter Captain Manuel Fonseca received the President's Volunteer Service Award from President George W. Bush on October 7 as part of the White House celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

"President Bush honored Nashville Fire Department Capt. Manuel Fonseca at the White House yesterday, praising him for a Metro schools fire-safety program as part of a reception for Hispanic Heritage Month."

"Fonseca, a 20-year veteran of the department, worked with the National Association of Hispanic Firefighters to help bring the 'Learn Not to Burn' program to Metro Nashville schools in both English and Spanish."

"The 'Learn Not to Burn' program teaches schoolchildren fire-safety techniques, including how to prevent fires and how to escape from them. Fonseca helped bring the program to Metro schools last year and spent more than 1,200 hours on community service in 2004, the White House said."

The White House reported that Bush thanked the six honorees as well as the broader Hispanic community for its service to the nation:

"The President's Volunteer Service Award that I'm about to give to six citizens is the highest level of commendation a President can give in recognition of those who have contributed their time and energy to helping others."

"Their efforts are helping children to learn to read, improving fire safety in schools and communities, and helping more Hispanics achieve the dream of a college education. In the wake of the hurricanes, they've helped set up emergency clinics, provided spiritual counseling to the displaced, just simple acts, such as reading stories to children whose families had lost their homes. Today, we're here to honor your service, and we appreciate so very much what you have done to help lift the spirit of the country."

"As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we thank the Hispanic community that has helped build and shape our country in so many ways. America is a better place because of your contributions. I join all Americans in celebrating the accomplishments and wishing our Hispanic communities all across the country continued success."

Image source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/

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