DEP JOINS THE AMERICAN LEGION
POST 11 IN HONORING FALLEN MEXICAN AVIATOR CAPTAIN EMILIO CARRANZA
Unveiling of Spanish/English
Interpretive Exhibit Highlighted
(05/96) TABERNACLE -- The Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) today joined the American Legion, Mount Holly
Post 11 to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the legacy and
tragic accident of Mexican aviator Captain Emilio Carranza Rodriguez
at the site of his unfortunate accident in Wharton State Forest
"We are pleased to partake in this celebration with the
American Legion in fulfillment of their oath to honor annually
the life and heritage of this great man," said DEP Commissioner
Bradley M. Campbell.
The American Legion, Mount Holly Post 11 hosts this annual event
on the second Saturday in July to celebrate the legacy of Carranza,
whose accomplishments earned him the nickname the "Lindbergh
of Mexico." The ceremony includes speakers from Carranzas
family and the Mexican Consulate, followed by a traditional placing
of wreaths at the crash site.
At this years event, the same year that Captain Carranza
would have celebrated his 100th birthday, DEP unveiled a special,
bilingual interpretive exhibit to honor his brief but brave life.
Concluding the ceremony, a fiesta was held in nearby Pemberton
at the Eden-Stanley American Legion Post 294.
Carranza died in Wharton State Forest when his plane crashed
in a thunderstorm during the return flight of his goodwill mission
from Mexico City to New York. The flight marked the longest flight
flown by a Mexican aviator until that time. Though only 22 years
of age at his death, Carranza was regarded among Americans and
Mexicans alike as a messenger of peace, goodwill and friendship
between the two nations.
The monument that stands at the accident site today is constructed
of limestone quarried near Mexico City and was purchased with
the pennies of their school children. The American Legion, Mount
Holly Post 11 erected the monument with a pledge to keep his ideals
Located in the Pine Barrens, Wharton State Forest is the largest
single tract of land within the New Jersey State Park System.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Wharton State Forest as
a state-owned site. This unique resource provides visitors with
recreational and learning activities about South Jersey's rich
and varied history.