Welcome to Defend the Honor!
The impetus for Defend the Honor was a 14.5-hour World War II documentary by Ken Burns, airing on PBS in 2007, which originally included NO Latino voices. Both PBS and Burns initially dismissed our concerns. But after an intense letter-writing campaign, petitions, protests and meetings, Burns relented and included interviews with two Mexican American veterans and one Native American veteran, all superb. The interviews were well done, but added on in what one critic called a “passive-aggressive” way, pasted on conspicuously after the conclusion of three episodes. The accompanying book had no reference to Latinos. To this day, Burns refuses to acknowledge the seriousness of our concerns and public broadcasting officials have called it “a dust-up.” Defend the Honor is the grassroots effort that developed from that 2007 effort, which included national and Latino organizations and elected officials and thousands of individuals. It continues to promote the respectful inclusion of Latino contributions to our country’s success.
This website provides information about the Defend the Honor campaign, a national effort to ensure that the legacy of Latinis in this nation’s history is preserved. The About Us includes more information about why this campaign was started and introduces some of the organizers. Resources are links to ongoing efforts that align with our goal of Claiming Space for Latinos and Latinas in our national consciousness. Campaign Updates are the email updates sent out by Defend the Honor to alert our group to important issues related to our goal. The Letters section includes letters by organizations and individuals responding to the 2007 event. You also will have access to the most complete News Coverage about the Ken Burns controversy along with Multimedia (video posts, cartoons, etc.) about our campaign.
We invite you to join our efforts and become one our nationwide Defenders of the Honor. If your organization would like to be involved, or if you as an individual would like to show your support, please Contact Us.