During the Memorial Day Observance at the Veterans Memorial in East Los Angeles it became evident that there is a schism growing among members of the local veterans’ organizations.
To say the disagreement is “unworthy” of the purpose for which the Memorial Park at Cinco Puntos was dedicated would be putting it mildly.
It seems to us that the disagreement over what the patch of land in East Los Angeles where veteran memorial monuments honoring the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom, should be called, is a disservice to the memory of those same brave heroes.
The debate over the name of the memorial site could so easily be solved, if the local veterans groups would think more about history and service, and less about winning the battle over the name.
We recognize that there are some veterans who are trying to by more inclusive, to recognize the sacrifice of many. This is honorable, but it should not come at the cost of forgetting or ignoring the fact that the memorial exists mainly because of the dedicated efforts of Raul Morin, for whom the site was named back in 1967.
It was Morin, a WWII veteran whose book “Among the Valiant” first chronicled the names and heroic actions of all Mexican-American Medal of Honor recipients of the country’s wars up to the Korean Conflict. There were many other veterans who supported Morin’s mission, and many are still alive today, but it was his efforts that shed light on the country’s Mexican-American war heroes.
Since Morin’s book was published the country’s warriors have fought other wars, it’s true. The names of all those sacrificing their lives to protect us should also be chronicled.
Still, there are many residents of Los Angeles County who, for the last 40 plus years have known the site as the Raul Morin Memorial. We just can’t understand why the tribute to our fallen heroes cannot be known as The Raul Morin All Wars Memorial, as a tribute to both our historic past and ongoing record of service and sacrifice.
Our veterans deserve no less.