The Millennium's Tribute to Arizona's Hispanic Community was inspired by an overwhelming need to demonstrate our appreciation and pride for those wonderful people we respectfully call Arizona's Pioneers.
Selection of our honorees was very difficult because we knew that we would miss some important leaders that should have been included in this community recognition. It is appropriate for us to praise those who have in one way or another touched our lives.
It is certain that the pioneers we recognized at this time will go down in our history books as great visionaries and survivors. It will also be recorded that these notable figures achieved great heights in a diverse and challenging society. These outstanding pillars of our community endured two world wars and a great depression. In spite of many obstacles, our great pioneers maintained a strong character.
The privilege and honor of participating in this unique program will remain in my heart and mind forever.
Ray A. Gaño