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A Poem for Bobby Salcedo, El Monte Civic Leader Slain in Mexico

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It was early New Year's Eve day when 33-year-old Bobby Salcedo, an El Monte assistant principal and school board member, was kidnapped and shot execution style while visiting the central Mexican city of Gomez Palacio. The Mountain View High School graduate and assistant principal had no connections to narcotics trafficking, but one or two of the six others killed with him may have. Five more people in the city were also killed execution style that night.

Salcedo was well known in his San Gabriel Valley hometown of El Monte. "He was my mentor first - my economics and government teacher in high school," wrote ExperienceLA's Charity Tran, 26, on her personal blog. "After I graduated, I joined the Sister Cities Association of my home town due in part to Bobby’s recruitment effort." And it was the Sister Cities Associations that brought Salcedo to Gomez Palacio--via the program, he met his wife, who is from the city. They were visiting her family last week.

"My mentor became a friend and because of Sister Cities, in many ways he was like family," continued Tran. "Before his passing, I was editing his dissertation - he was going to be the first person in his family to achieve a doctorate." Moved after hearing of the events, Tran this week wrote a touching poem in his memory, which we are sharing here, below:

To Bobby Who Lives On
By Charity C. Tran

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I see you now in headlines
“L.A. School Official”
but when you shift from their
front page to archive
you’ll still be in our headlines
etched in the articles of our lives

you were writing
your dissertation
too many chapters left
of your own to write
of your life to compose

but before your pen
left your hand
its ink had left its mark
composing symphony
in the articles of our lives

you persevered the odds
that others could do the same
you did so with laughter
achieving a quiet kind of fame

I see you now in my headlines
in the memory of you in my life
my friend, my mentor
in your stead I will persevere
in my life and so many others
you live on

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