Tuesday, October 2, 2012
César E. Chávez National Monument
Chávez played a central role in achieving basic worker protections for hundreds of thousands of farmworkers across the country, from provisions ensuring drinking water was provided to workers in the fields, to steps that helped limit workers’ exposure to dangerous pesticides, to helping to establish basic minimum wages and health care access for farm workers. The César E. Chávez National Monument will encompass property that includes a Visitors’ Center containing César Chávez’s office as well as the UFW legal aid offices, the home of César and Helen Chávez, the Chávez Memorial Garden containing Chavez’s grave site, and additional buildings and structures at the La Paz campus.
So why do we immortalize these people? It was just recently that the National Park Service helped bring the Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial to Washington, DC. It takes years and years for something that happened even longer years ago to come to life. These memorials must embody and showcase the struggle of all America. Whether a life-size statue or a grave site, Americans of different ethnic backgrounds are shaping the way we look back at history. One day the color of a person's skin won't matter. Until then, let's make history.