I first learned about him from The Shadows of Hate, a documentary produced by Teaching Tolerance (Southern Poverty Law Center).
This simple man, did his duty, went to war and died for his country. But, when his wife tried to bury him in the local cemetery in Three Rivers, Texas, she was basically told that “the whites might not like it.” The news reached Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson, (our 36th President)who arranged for Longoria to be interned at Arlington National Cemetery.
I visited D.C. (in 2004) and set out to find Mr. Longoria’s grave site. All I had was a name, no date of death or birth. With the help of the employees, we managed to find the site. That day, I must have walked about 3 miles to the site, and it must have been the hottest day of the summer, almost 95. When I finally found the grave marker, I shed tears, and apologized to Mr. Longoria for the hatred that had existed in his home town.
I wanted a photo of the marker, to show that I had paid my respect, but no one was around to take my photo. That day, I became creative, and took a pic of my passport next to the grave marker.