East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

The All Wars Memorial: Pride of Mexican American Veterans

The All Wars Memorial is a perfect representation of Mexican American pride. This memorial was originally built in 1947 to honor Mexican Americans who have served in the U.S. armed forces. It is located at 3300 East Cesar Chavez Avenue. It is also in front of one of the most popular restaurants in East Los Angeles.

It represents the Mexican Americans who fought through the Civil War, the two World Wars, Korean and Vietnam wars, and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. We Latinos have proudly worn this uniform for generations. It represents the pride Mexican Americans have to defend and fight not only for the people but for the United States of America.

This monument would not work out in any other place because it represents Mexican Americans who have fought in many of the United States wars. East Los Angeles is the pinnacle of Mexican American culture. Many things here like murals can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The placement for this monument is perfect in representing the Mexican American culture. It’s been there since 1947 and hope it stands there for many more generations of Mexican Americans to see and feel proud of.

Ceremonies are held at this location to honor veterans, like Memorial Day, the 24-Hour Patriotic Vigil and Veteran’s Day.

Sadly sometime between October and November of 2012, three of the memorial’s bronze plaques were stolen and the fourth plaque was damaged. Police believe that the vandals probably sold them for scrap metal. For something like this to happen to such a respected site really disappointed many veterans and people alike. Many felt disrespected and luckily a man named John Perez was able to help.

After this incident, Perez pledged to see to it that the stolen plaques are replaced. He kept his word and on March 1, a ceremony happened marking its restoration. Veterans at the plaque installation ceremony were pleased to see the memorial repaired and respected again.

I hope that no one else chooses to vandalize such a respectful sight in the future. We all need to respect it and take care of it for our past and future veterans.

I’ve passed through this memorial all my life not really caring what it was. But when I did learn what it was as I got older, every time I pass by it I feel a sense of pride. None of my family members have ever been part of the United States military but it still makes me feel proud that so many Mexican Americans have fought in all these wars defending the freedom of all of us and many more to come.