​Ambassador Cabanas awarding Teresa Valcarce with the Order of Civil Merit
Teresa Valcarce decorated as Commander of Civil Merit for promotion of the figure of Bernardo de Gálvez
Ms. Teresa Valcarce Graciani has been bestowed Spain’s Order of Civil Merit for her contributions to the promotion of the figure of Bernardo de Gálvez in the United States.
12/9/2019

On December 5, 2019, in the name of H.M. King Felipe VI, Ambassador Santiago Cabanas decorated Teresa Valcarce Graciani as Commander of Civil Merit, a high honor in recognition of Ms. Valcarce’s work to raise awareness surrounding the figure of Bernardo de Gálvez in the United States. Ms. Valcarce was a leading force behind a portrait of Gálvez being hung in the United States Senate in 2014.

 

Bernardo de Gálvez was the Spanish hero of the American Revolutionary War and, in 2014, became one of only eight people in history to be conferred honorary United States citizenship (others include Winston Churchill and Mother Teresa). Among the reasons cited in U.S. House Joint Resolution 105 for granting Gálvez honorary citizenship are:
 
Whereas Bernardo de Gaalvez y Madrid, Viscount of Galveston and Count of Gaalvez, was a hero of the Revolutionary War who risked his life for the freedom of the United States people and provided supplies, intelligence, and strong military support to the war effort;
 
Whereas Bernardo de Gaalvez recruited an army of 7,500 men made up of Spanish, French, African-American, Mexican, Cuban, and Anglo-American forces and led the effort of Spain to aid the United States' colonists against Great Britain;
 
Whereas during the Revolutionary War, Bernardo de Gaalvez and his troops seized the Port of New Orleans and successfully defeated the British at battles in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Natchez, Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama;
 
Whereas Bernardo de Gaalvez led the successful 2-month Siege of Pensacola, Florida, where his troops captured the capital of British West Florida and left the British with no naval bases in the Gulf of Mexico;
 
Whereas Bernardo de Gaalvez helped draft the terms of treaty that ended the Revolutionary War;
 
Whereas Bernardo de Gaalvez's victories against the British were recognized by George Washington as a deciding factor in the outcome of the Revolutionary War…

 

G
álvez has been honored both before and after Ms. Valcarce’s valuable contributions. In 1976, King Juan Carlos I donated a statue of Gálvez to the United States on the occasion of its Bicentennial, which is now displayed adjacent to the Department of State in D.C. Another statue was unveiled in June 2019 outside the Embassy of Spain, with the support of Iberdrola and Avangrid.
 
To find out more about Bernardo de Gálvez and Spain’s legacy and presence in the United States, both historical and contemporary, visit spainintheusa.org.

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