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Remains of 19th century Chinese immigrants to be reburied

March 8, 2010 |  8:15 am

The remains of Chinese immigrants whose century-old grave sites were discovered five years ago during Metro Gold Line construction will get a new resting place Monday when a memorial will be held to honor their legacy.

All 174 burial remains and artifacts unearthed in 2005 will be re-interred Monday at the Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights, where the Chinese frontiersmen were not permitted to be buried because of racist policies of the late 19th century.

“There clearly was a historic wrong,” said Yvette Rapose, community relations manager for the MTA. “We are taking the lead to right that wrong, to re-inter them at the Evergreen Cemetery, where they were once denied access.”

Yet the resolution was bittersweet for members of the local Chinese community conflicted about what to do with the ancestral bones and artifacts.

“It’s been too long for these remains to be out there in some laboratory,” said Daisy Ma, president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance. “We do not want to wait any longer. We want closure.”

-- Ching-Ching Ni