City seeks to honor fallen soldier

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BALDWIN PARK – Since the war in Iraq started three years ago, the city of Baldwin Park has taken strides in honoring its native sons and daughters who fought overseas. A citywide party is thrown in their honor when they come home, and a group of veterans raised money and designed a commemorative wall for all veterans from Baldwin Park. Now, the city is taking another step to honor two of its own who didn’t make it home for their party. The City Council unanimously agreed to ask the federal government to name the local post office after Army Sgt. Atanacio Haro-Marin, 27, who died in hostile fire June 3, 2003. “To me, it was very touching to be able to name this after someone who served at a young age, and it’s something that will be there for years to let the community know of this young, brave person,” said Mayor Manuel Lozano. Haro-Marin attended Sierra Vista High School and was an accomplished athlete and musician before joining the Army, said his mother, Catalina Haro-Marin. A track-and-field star, Haro-Marin ran the Los Angeles marathon twice, she said, adding that he was incredibly friendly and had the energy of a small child. “In the midst of this sadness, I feel proud,” Catalina Haro-Marin said. “For others to know about my son and what he did, as a mother, I feel very proud and thankful for everyone’s support. … He won a spot in this city amongst his fellow residents. I thank everyone in my son’s name.” The second Baldwin Park resident to give his life in the war was 20-year-old Marine Cpl. Rudy Salas. He died in a vehicle accident on May 20, 2004. The Baldwin Park High School graduate was a quiet person, but always had interesting topics to discuss and loved to enlighten his fellow Marines, according to his platoon commander, Richard P. Ortega. “Rudy’s life was short-lived, but not lived short,” Ortega wrote in an e-mail. “We will miss the camaraderie we all shared with Rudy.” Lozano said the council is looking to erect a memorial wall in Salas’ honor near the newly built veteran’s monument at Morgan Park. Lozano said Rep. Hilda Solis, D-El Monte, has the request to name the post office after Haro-Marin. The congresswoman was recently successful in having the Covina post office named after Capt. Lillian Keil, a Covina resident who was the most decorated woman in military history. Editorial assistant Claudia Palma contributed to this story. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2472last_img