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Boyle Heights Day of the Dead exhibit celebrates Latino veterans

October 29, 2009 |  7:00 am
A Boyle Heights gallery and art space is paying homage to Latino soldiers who died in U.S. wars abroad as part of an exhibit celebrating Day of the Dead, a festive Latin American holiday to remember departed loved ones.

Casa 0101 Theater will host a dedication of the exhibit, which explores death in wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, during a ceremony and reception at 8 p.m. tonight. The exhibit will feature a colorful altar with photos and other memorabilia dedicated to Latino members of the armed forces.Mwr40percent

Day of the Dead, or Día de Los Muertos, is observed Nov. 2. Typically, family members visit graveyards, taking food and decorating burial sites with candles, flowers and photos of deceased relatives. The roots of the holiday date back hundreds of years to before the arrival of the Spanish in the Americas.


"This is a way of honoring the dead but with a purpose and a message," said Casa 0101 founder Josefina Lopez, a writer whose autobiographical play, "Real Woman Have Curves," was made into an acclaimed HBO movie. "We want to affirm our contribution to this country."

The event is open to the public and will also feature a screening  of "As Long as I Remember: American Veteranos," a documentary about the toll of war on three Chicano Vietnam veterans.

--Robert J. Lopez

Photo: Latino soldier taking a break. Credit: Casa 0101.

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