His­tory through Serra’s eyes

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Time to re­tire Serra’s statue?,” Ed­i­to­rial, April 17

With­out Fa­ther Ju­nipero Serra, Cal­i­for­nia has no his­tory. I have just helped a grand­child work through the fourth grade, and I am more re­spect­ful of the ac­com­plish­ments of Serra than ever be­fore.

The Fran­cis­can mis­sion­ar­ies came into this pre­vi­ously bar­ren land and set to work grow­ing crops, rais­ing cat­tle and horses, teach­ing the na­tive Cal­i­for­ni­ans how to ex­ist in a civ­i­lized world and spread­ing the Chris­tian faith. This was a huge job for just a few mis­sion­ar­ies, but they had big san­dals to fill: those of Serra.

I am sure that as­tro­naut Sally Ride, Amer­ica’s first woman in space, was a nice per­son, but she didn’t have the im­pact of Serra. Keep his statue in Wash­ing­ton, or bring back all our stat­ues from Wash­ing­ton.

Charles W. Jen­ner

Los Alami­tos

Here’s a sug­ges­tion: Add Ride, keep Serra and re­tire Ron­ald Rea­gan. Af­ter all, his poli­cies in Latin Amer­ica con­trib­uted to the deaths and dis­ap­pear­ances of count­less in­dige­nous and other per­sons in Latin Amer­ica.

Mer­ilie Robert­son

Canoga Park

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