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Martin Sheen
Requiem for César Chávez
Requiem for César Chávez

Despite the rumble of locomotives idling on a track just a few yards away, there's a sense of serenity at a memorial tucked into the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains southeast of Bakersfield. Statues of St. Francis of Assisi and Our Lady of Guadalupe stand on either side of a sculpted fountain from which water cascades into a small pool. In front of this stirring scene, a modest gravestone on a square of grass bears a simple inscription: César Estrada Chávez 1927–1993 It's a large monument for a man who never earned more than $30,000 a year — and definitely a bigger tribute than the short-statured, modest man would have wanted. Yet as Paul...

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