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Big college fair offers selection

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CTK School turns 50; opens new amphitheater

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‘Remember Them’ celebrates Heroes for Humanity — and Oakland

Saint Mary’s College establishes new museum

Youth ‘On Fire’ on Sept. 24

Music, ethnicity hallmark of Chautauqua gathering Oct. 8

New principal named at St. Paul School

• Sister M. Agnes Gough, SHF
• Father Marvin Steffes, CPPS
• Sister Mary Hyacinthe Ruggiero, OP

placeholder September 19, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA

More than 1,000 people gathered for the Sept. 6 unveiling of the “Remember Them – Heroes for Humanity” sculpture at Oakland’s Henry J. Kaiser Park.
josé luis aguirre photos
‘Remember Them’ celebrates
Heroes for Humanity — and Oakland

With song, poetry, sunshine and cheers for the city of Oakland, “Remember Them — Heroes for Humanity” was unveiled Sept. 6 in Henry J. Kaiser Park.

Mother Teresa is one of 25 world peace leaders whose image is cast in bronze in the three-story sculpture.

While there were some speakers who predicted the three-story sculpture — cast in bronze and depicting 25 people who have made a difference in the world — has the potential of being as great a landmark as the Golden Gate Bridge, many more were happy to see that Oakland was getting some love.

“This monument could stand anywhere in the world,” said Joseph Haraburda, president and CEO of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, “but it will be here in Oakland.”

There were cheers for Oakland artist Mario Chiodo, who conceived the project in the aftermath of 9/11 and raised more than $6 million to bring it from an idea to a bronze sculpture in three parts (the fourth is in production) at the intersection of Telegraph Avenue and 19th Street.

The youngest of the heroes depicted in the sculpture spoke to the crowd. At the age of 6, Ruby Bridges braved an angry mob of racists to become the first black student to attend an all-white school in the South. She thanked the sculptor and reminded children that “dreams do come true.”

A dream for some in the crowd of more than 1,000 was to meet Bridges and some of the other speakers. Student leaders and eighth-graders at St. Edward School in Newark brought gifts and a thank-you card for Chiodo, and letters for Bridges and for Maya Angelou. The poet had been scheduled to appear at the event but was unable to do so; her son Guy Johnson read a letter from her. Students hoped to give Johnson their package of letters to his mother.

Tatiana Assefa, 12, a St. Edward’s eighth-grader did meet Bridges. “I told her on behalf of St. Edward’s, she inspired us to know a child can take a stand. A small act can make a big difference.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing the likenesses in bronze,” said Angelique Guzman, 13, an eighth-grader at St. Edward School. “I want to see how much time Mario Chiodo put into the sculpture and making it an honor to those who are represented.”

Miguel Vasquez surveyed the crowd, which at the unveiling waved small American flags. “We’re just happy to be here,” the eighth-grader said.

The honor choir of Moreau Catholic High School opened the ceremony with two songs. Father Jay Matthews, pastor of St. Benedict Church in Oakland, was among three members of the clergy to offer a blessing. Sister Barbara Bray, superintendent of the Diocese of Oakland schools, was among the friends and family members of the heroes to be called forward to assist in unveiling the statue. She had been asked to represent Mother Teresa.

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