Thursday, October 20, 2011

openchicago, Veterans in Action, Vandals, VA Tour, Chicago Public Library

           MUSEUM A HIT: More than 100 people, from all over the city, visited the Museum of Mexican Culture and History in Little Village last weekend. Visitors came as part of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s citywide openhousechicago neighborhood tour event. Curator, William “Guillermo” Luna, explained the history of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 with a pictorial setting of photos of the era to guests. Luna’s presentation was interesting and in depth. Here are some Open House photos:

           STUDENTS from Jesuit Cristo Rey High School in Pilsen participated as guides and assisted curator Luna. Many visitors were interested in the history of Aztecs and Mayan depicted in colorful paintings of the Aztec Emperors and the World of the Aztecs.  “All the visitors asked interesting questions and were impressed by many of the Mexican articles in the museum,” said Luna.
SCHOOLS, churches, community organizations and anyone who may want to visit the
Museum of Mexican Culture & History, 3610 W. 26th St. call Bill Luna at 773/551-4750.

Commander Joe Ramirez
painting at the plaza
           VETERANS IN ACTION:  Angered by the vandalism that was done last month to the Manuel Perez Jr. Memorial Plaza mural, 26th St. & Kolin Ave. in Little Village prompt Post Commander Joe Ramirez to call a special Post 1017 meeting. The veterans met to discuss a course of action for the restoration of the mural and the Manuel Perez Jr. Memorial Plaza to its military status.  
            VANDALS desecrated the image of PFC Manuel Perez Jr. in the mural by spreading black paint on Perez’s face. PFC Perez Jr. was killed in action and awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously. The veterans of the Manuel Perez Jr. American Post 1017 marched to the plaza and whitewashed the wall for the repainting of a new [military] mural. 
“WHAT SOME community groups or people in general have to understand is that the Manuel Perez Jr. Memorial Plaza is not a playground, but a sacred memorial plaza paying homage to the Mexican-American soldiers that gave their lives for this country. Also, to give recognition to the veterans and members of the military,” said Commander Ramirez.
           MEMBERS of Post 1017 have worked hard to keep the plaza grounds free of debris by raking up leaves and sweeping the area.  “It is our objective to restore the respect the Manuel Perez Jr. Memorial Plaza deserves,” Ramirez said.   
        IN 1980, during the dedication of the Manuel Perez Jr. Memorial Plaza, Mayor Jane M. Byrne said, “The veterans members of the Manuel Perez Jr. Post in Little Village are the caretakers of the plaza.”
Director Anaya &
Sen. Tony Munoz
           VA TOUR: Newly appointed director, Michael A. Anaya, Sr. of the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, 820 S. Damen Ave. held a reception at his office Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 in celebration of 2011 Hispanic Heritage Month. Special visitor at the reception was Illinois State Senator Antonio “Tony” Munoz.         

           INTRODUCING Director Anaya to the visitors was Jessie J. Castaneda, Hispanic Employment Program manager, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.
DIRECTOR ANAYA introduced Sen. Munoz and presented him with a plaque in appreciation for his support of veterans and to the Medical Center. “I would like to thank Director Anaya, his staff and all the employees here at the Medical Center for the work they are doing to help our veterans,” said Munoz. Sen. Munoz is an army veteran and his son is a U.S. Marine doing a tour in Afghanistan.

SOME OF guest at the reception were Abundio Zaragoza, Superintendent of Veterans Assistance Commission; Victor Franco Jr., former Post Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart; Jose L. Martinez, Korean War veteran and the first Mexican-American wounded in action in the Korean war and yours truly.  A tour of the modernize facility was given to the visitors. For more info on the VA Medical Center call: 312/569-8387.      

           GRAND OPENING: A new library, the Little Village Branch, 2301 S. Kedzie Ave. opened its doors Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. The library was full of neighborhood parents and students who were excited about the new facility. Many shelves were empty and Head librarian, Teresa M. Madrigal, explained that the library would be receiving more books.
           LIBRARY HOURS: Monday and Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
                                               Tuesday and Thursday: Noon to 8 p.m.
                                               Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
                                               Sunday: CLOSED.

“Great spirits have always encountered
 violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
                           --Albert Einstein