Sunday, August 7, 2011

Charles E. Wiggins - Cenotaph

Cenotaph – An “empty tomb” or a monument erected in honor of a person or person whose remains are buried elsewhere. 

Charles E. Wiggins

Wiggins was born in El Monte in 1927. His family had lived there since 1851, and his father was fire chief in the community. The Korean War veteran was student body president in grammar school and sophomore class president in high school. [Source: Los Angeles Times obituary March 4, 2000]

He served in the United States Army from 1945 to 1948 and again from 1950 to 1952. Graduating from the University of Southern California School of Law in 1956, he established a legal practice in El Monte, California. He was elected to the United States Congress from California and served from 1967 to 1979. He served as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, from 1984 until his death in 2000.  [Source: Find A Grave (bio by: Garver Graver)]

He was appointed to the El Monte city council in 1960 to fill a vacancy; in 1964 he was elected Mayor of El Monte. His body is buried in Arlington National Cemetery but his heart will always belong to El Monte.

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