César Estrada Chávez Grave Site

César Estrada Chávez Grave Site

An early start from Tehachapi, an important Southern Pacific railroad stop between the Mojave Desert and San Joaquin Valley, meant that we arrived before the César E. Chávez National Monument officially opened. We did explore the Memorial Garden that includes the grave site of the great farm labor leader and civil rights activist who made his home here from the early 1970s until his death in 1993. The following quotation by César Estrada Chávez is found on the wall in English and Spanish:

“It is my deepest belief that only by giving our lives do we find life.”

We also walked down to La Paz, the United Farm Workers (UFW) headquarters also known as Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz or Our Lady Queen of Peace, which is a National Historic Landmark. The UFW re-purposed this former tuberculosis sanatorium for their efforts in developing the American farm worker movement. It was appropriate for President Barrack Obama, who reformulated the slogan “Sí, se puede” (Spanish for “Yes, one can”), to declare this 116-acre landmark a National Monument on October 8, 2012. César Chávez is an important American worth celebrating.

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