A Memorial That Moved Us to Tears

Have you visited a memorial that moved you to tears?

Walking on a glorious fall day in Pasadena, California with no destination in mind, we had already come upon some interesting sites, including:

The Pacific Asia Museum, which was originally “The Grace Nicholson Treasure House of Oriental Art,” a fascinating architectural structure that blends both Asian and Californian styles with a beautiful garden courtyard surrounded by galleries that house art from Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Five bridal parties having their photographs taken among the pillars, arches, domes and gardens of Pasadena City Hall.

and then,

across the street from City Hall, the Jackie and Mack Robinson Memorial.


Jackie faces east toward New York, where he spent his adult life. Mack faces City Hall, as he spent his entire life in Pasadena.

Jack RooseveltJackieRobinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was an American baseball player who became the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s, he was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation in professional baseball, which had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades.

Mack Robinson (Matthew MacKenzie Robinson; July 18, 1914 – March 12, 2000) was an American athlete, setting the world record for broad jump and winning a silver medal in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

Invisible from a distance are the moving words and drawings that have been inscribed on Jackie’s and Mack’s heads:

Here are two sentences Natalie copied into her notebook:

“If this can happen to a guy from a broken home, whose mother worked from sun-up to sundown; if this can happen to someone who was a delinquent and who learned he had to change his life – then it can happen to you out there who think life is against you.”

“Until every child can have an equal opportunity, until hunger is not only immoral but illegal, until hatred is recognized as a disease and treated as such; until racism and sexism and narcotics are conquered…until that day, Jackie Robinson and no one else can say he has it made.”

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