Sen. Barbara Boxer
(D-Calif.) in a brief speech on the Senate floor, quoted Kurt Mellon, president of the California Missions Foundation as describing the historic churches as "California's Pyramids" that "help symbolize the nation's western beginnings."
Boxer told her colleagues on Feb. 3 that she recently had been at Mission San Diego for a celebration and wanted to pass on
the thanks and the gist of Mellon's comments to them. She quoted Mellon as saying: "Of all the institutions that define California's heritage, none has the historic
significance and emotional impact of the chain of Spanish missions that stretch from San Diego to Sonoma. The missions are an important part of the state's cultural fabric and must be preserved as priceless historical monuments."