Chinatown sculpture honors Bernie Wong’s legacy

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CHICAGO — A dedication ceremony was held Tuesday to honor the life and legacy of Bernarda “Bernie” Wong the founder of the Chinese American Service League.

The dedication drew leaders in Chinatown and around the city, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

“Bernie was a prime example of what it was like to be a lifelong public servant,” Lightfoot said. “(She was) dedicated to immigrants, especially the poor and women.”

A sculpture was also part of the ceremony. Standing strong, made of steel, “The Red Angel” as it’s called is the latest addition to Chinatown. It’s located across the street from the Chinese American Service League, which Wong help to found in 1978.

“She was an impeccable servant leader and she continues to be with us today,” the league’s Paul Luu said.

The sculpture is the work of the Zhou brothers, who came to the US with the help of CASL and Wong herself

“(It reminds) us that she’ll always be in our hearts and always watch over us in her beloved Chinatown,” 2nd District State Rep Theresa Mah (D) said.

“Bernie is one who treated us like human beings because her whole life was dedicated to the Chinese community,” DaHuang Zhou said.

Wong died in April after a battle with breast cancer. Her memory and mission, living on in the minds of other and now, in a work of art.

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