New plaque a symbol of Selma's resilience

FRESNO, Calif.

The community has now raised more money to bring the symbol of Selma pride back to where it belongs. The simple act of unveiling a new plaque made Selma residents beam with pride.

This one replaced a stolen plaque which played an important part of Selma's historic mural.

Business owner Scott Robertson explained, "This represents being whole again. This represents our community again supporting everyone in the city and the arts. This mural belongs to everybody along with the plaque."

Robertson recorded a man on surveillance video when the bronze plaque disappeared in August but the suspect and plaque were never found.

During that time, bronze plaques were also stolen from the Selma Women's Club, a hall at St. Joseph Catholic Church and from a school.

The community quickly stepped up to raise money to replace the plaque which accompanied the mural.

Vicki Filgas said Selma Unified played a key role in raising funds. "Also the high school because it coincided with the deaths of two of the students and we were able to memoralize them because they went out and took around a can for donations at school."

Selma high students Anthony Caro and Jesse Lujan, Jr. were killed in a car crash. Their names appear on the new plaque, which is not made of metal.

Robertson said, "It's made of granite. There is no copper and no brass in this plaque. Nothing to recycle."

The plaque was dedicated as a testament to the resilient spirit of Selma. People were heart-broken and angry when the plaque was stolen.

It cost $650 for the granite replacement and once again, school kids played a big role in the fund raising efforts.

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