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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Newest US postage stamp began, ends at UA”

    Postmaster Carl Grigle, left, helps Lisa Salazar Johnson and her family unveil the post stamp of Ruben Salazar yesterday afternoon in the Gallager Theater. Salazar was a journalist killed by tear gas fired by Los Angeles sheriffs Aug. 29, 1970, while covering the National Chicano Moratorium March, which protested Latino deaths in Vietnam.
    Postmaster Carl Grigle, left, helps Lisa Salazar Johnson and her family unveil the post stamp of Ruben Salazar yesterday afternoon in the Gallager Theater. Salazar was a journalist killed by tear gas fired by Los Angeles sheriffs Aug. 29, 1970, while covering the National Chicano Moratorium March, which protested Latino deaths in Vietnam.

    Members of the UA community welcomed Ruben Salazar’s national stamp by calling the slain journalist an “”icon.””

    The stamp, officially unveiled on campus yesterday, is considered an honor not only to Salazar, a journalist killed in 1970 while reporting a story, but also as a symbol of recognition of Latino contributions in America, they said.

    The stamp showcases an “”example of an extraordinary human being,”” said P. Vicente Osvaldo Lopez, who led a prayer yesterday.

    Salazar is considered an icon among Latinos and journalists alike. He was the first Latino to play a significant role at a major American newspaper and is considered to be a man who paved the way for minority journalists.

    He died Aug. 29, 1970 in Los Angeles when a sheriff killed him by shooting him with a canister of tear gas during a protest that had turned violent.

    “”It’s not just a stamp. We are celebrating a man, a family, honoring a profession, merit, hard work and dedicated commitment,”” said Ruben Reyes, representing Rep. Raul Grijalva.

    Some of Salazar’s family was in attendance yesterday, as well as local journalists and members of the UA and the Tucson Latino community.

    The ceremony took place at the UA because the creation of the stamp “”has grown from Tucson,”” said Raul Aguirre, yesterday’s master of ceremonies, through “”sweat and tears”” and a three-year effort at the university and citywide petitioning to make the stamp a reality.

    “”It was a work of passion,”” said Juan Garcia, vice provost of the UA.

    Olga Briseño led the movement to create the stamp as the director of the Media, Democracy and Policy Institute, which is part of the College of Humanities.

    “”This has brought awareness to Latinos,”” she said, adding that many stories of great Latinos in America are still left untold.

    Consuelo Aguilar, a member of the Arizona Cesar E. Chavez Holiday Coalition, said she views the stamp as an important part of the Latino movement and hopes the stamp will inspire “”many more great leaders.””

    “”Ruben Salazar didn’t choose to be an icon,”” she said, “”We chose him.””

    Carl Grigle, postmaster of the United States Postal Service, called it “”a privilege to shine light on his accomplishments and bring attention to his courageous work.””

    Lisa Salazar Johnson, Ruben’s daughter, said she was moved and honored that her father, whose name lives on in scholarships, parks and schools, is receiving national attention through a stamp.

    “”He has left a legacy,”” she said. “”It’s a story that should be told to everyone.””

    Nathan Olivarez-Giles, a former Daily Wildcat photo editor and a journalism senior, spoke on the panel at yesterday’s event as a young journalist who has been greatly influenced by Salazar, whom he called “”one of my journalism heroes.””

    “”During the civil rights era, when there were social movements for getting equal rights and representation for minority groups and woman, groups who hadn’t had power, he did it all,”” Olivarez-Giles said. “”He is a shining example of what civil rights movement was about.””

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