A Veteran's Lament: Honoring the WWII War Memorial

Some things never change, so let's work together to form the East Los Angeles Veterans - Memorial Project

By Richard Luna
Published on LatinoLA: November 11, 2014

A Veteran's Lament: Honoring the WWII War Memorial

Originally published on LatinoLA on March 23, 2013

Why so much division in our community? As far back as I can remember it seems there has always been divisions in the Mexican community. Whether, it was social, economical, generational or educational.

From my perspective, these divisions are more discernible in the veteran community. Case in point; is the WWII War Memorial at Cinco Puntos, known as Morin Memorial Square. The memorial has been a point of contention for years. From its upkeep to the recent efforts to make into something it's not, an all-wars memorial. The memorial was dedicated in1946 by the Mexican community. The purpose, to honor American sons and daughters of Mexican decent who gave all in World War II.

You don't denigrate an existing memorial by trying to make into something other than its original intent. Working with the City of Los Angeles to bring the existing memorial site to the highest standard possible, should be the focus by all groups. One would think as veterans, we could come together circle the wagons (so to speak) on this contentious issue.

The 442nd Infantry WWII War Memorial dedicated in1949 by the American Japanese Community which is located at the Evergreen Cemetery in ELA was spared a similar dilemma. Veterans and the public at large decided they wanted to have a new memorial in their community, all encompassing, a memorial that would stand out for all to see.

Instead of changing or moving the existing memorial, the community united and enlisted the support of the city and built a new memorial in Little Tokyo.

In an effort to heal the community and bring us together, my partner David De La Cruz and I started a new group called the East Los Angeles Veterans - Memorial Project.

The Mission Phase I of the project is to:

a). evaluate the feasibility of building a All Wars Memorial in East Los Angeles District I.
b).Garner the support of the County Supervisor in securing a memorial site.

If you feel this is a laudable undertaking and would support this project please contact me, call 626 388 3443 with your comments.

The public input is crucial to the success of the project.

About Richard Luna:
Born and raised in East Los Angeles, graduated from Garfield High, Viet Nam War Era Veteran: served in the U S Army 65-68, attended Cal State L.A., retired from the So Calif. Gas Co.
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