El Paso Widower Who Invited Everyone To His Wife’s Funeral Donates Thousands Of Flowers To Honor All 22 Victims Of The El Paso Massacre
It’s been a little over two weeks since a terrorist upended lives when he attacked an El Paso Walmart, killing 22 people. Since then, there has been an outpouring of grief and pain but along with it a community banding together amid an outpouring of support.
Over the weekend, that cycle of grief and support continued as many of the remaining victims were finally laid to rest.
One El Paso funeral home director put together the ultimate send off for all 22 victims, organizing a caravan of hearses that convened at the makeshift memorial.
Twenty-two hearses carried flowers to the makeshift memorial outside Walmart.
Perches, who organized the funeral for an El Paso widower who made headlines when he invited the entire city to his wife’s service, reached out to other area funeral homes to organize 22 hearses — one for each person killed — to deliver flowers to the makeshift memorial at Walmart, which has become a place to mourn and remember. One final procession.
On Sunday, the hearses left La Paz and followed a police escort for the five mile procession to the memorial.
There were so many flowers at La Paz that it took nearly an hour for about 100 volunteers to load the hearses.
The flowers were donated from the El Paso widower made famous when he invited the entire city to his wife’s funeral.
There were 22 hearses, representing the 22 victims of the shooting, that carried more than 1,000 floral arrangements sent by people around the world for Margie Reckard’s funeral service and burial — which were held on Friday night and Saturday.
Salvador Perches told local ABC affiliate KVIA, “I spoke with (Reckard’s) husband about the idea, and he felt this would be a fitting tribute to his wife and to the other victims,” Perches said. “Contact was then made to all of the other participating funeral homes and all of them agreed that this can serve as a gesture of unity and a sense of closure for all of the funerals that happened from this tragedy.”
People who saw the caravan pass by took to social media to share their emotions.
Cars stopped in both directions as the 22 hearses passed. People captured the moment on cell phones. Some held small American flags and removed their hats.
“I just got chills,” Sunset Funeral Homes Director Christopher Lujan told CNN in an interview. “Seeing 22 hearses is just unbelievable.”
The hearses unloaded the flowers at the makeshift memorial site outside the Walmart where the attack took place.
The makeshift memorial at Walmart sprang up a day after the shooting. People have gathered to pray and sing amid the candles, rosaries and white crosses with handwritten names of the dead.
Funeral directors invited mourners at the memorial site to unload the arrangements. They took the flowers and arranged them around the crosses. “Everybody wanted to participate in one way or another,” said Gomez, who runs the social services non-profit Operation H.O.P.E., in an interview with CNN.