While December 31st, 2012 will mark the 40th anniversary of Roberto Clemente’s tragic death, his legacy continues to grow. Without fail, each year there is a new book, documentary, web site or other commemoration of this fallen son of Puerto Rico. Clemente’s role as a hero both in Puerto Rico and the United States may, however, may be the most important facet of his legacy. Central to his status as a national hero in both countries, are the profoundly touching personal stories about Clemente that transcend time and space. Many of these accounts are about brief meetings with Clemente, others about seeing him play or speak, still others happen after his death. All, however, suggest that Clemente is a transcendent and transnational hero who remains one of the most important symbols of Puerto Rican and United States identity.
As part of my work on Clemente’s importance to both countries, I am collecting stories about him from anyone who is willing to share their personal reminiscence. I want to include a wide range of these narratives in my essay, with the narrator’s permission, as part of my discussion of Clemente as a transnational Puerto Rican hero.
Source: Repeating Islands