You all should know that Local 1000 was the largest single donor to the Deportees monument fund. Local 1000 President Emeritus John McCutcheon was especially proud to be there on Labor Day representing not only the Local, but the folk music tradition, at this moving ceremony.
The Fresno Bee published a detailed article on the memorial ceremony, which is available at: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/09/02/3475757/fresno-memorial-unveiled-with.html
Here are John’s notes on some little things not mentioned in the article:
- The archbishop (and 6 concelebrants!) led a mariachi Mass before the ceremony.
- Over 500 people in attendance…much larger than expected.
- The Knight of Columbus were there in full regalia attending to the service
- Mariachi music, Aztec dancers, local musicians, and a young folk/goth (??!!) group named The Last Internationale performed
- The memorial included the names of the 28 “deportees” and the names of the crew of the plane. Seems in the ensuing 65 years some important lessons about remembrance have been, in fact, learned.
- Adorning the edges of the monument were 32 leaves, referencing the lines “scattered like dry leaves to rot on the topsoil”…these people were paying attention?
- 32 white doves were released at the unveiling. I still have goosebumps.
- Lots of family members of the victims…it was emotional ravishing for everyone.
Thank you all for your generous support!