Things That Matter

An El Paso Widower Made A Heartbreaking Plea For Strangers To Attend His Wife’s Funeral Because She Was His Only Family

The community of El Paso continues to mourn the loss of the victims from the massacre of nearly two weeks ago. But it’s not just the El Paso community that is in mourning, much of the nation (and, in fact, world) is mourning right there alongside El Paso. 

And thanks to one man’s heartbreaking tragedy, all of us are feeling the sorrows of El Paso. 

This man lost his wife in the El Paso Massacre and now he says he has no family left.

Antonio Basco had been sleeping on the pavement next to his wife’s new cross for nearly a week. The 61-year-old, who goes by Tony, isn’t sure what else to do. He’s been waking up next to Margie Reckard every morning since he met her 22 years ago in Omaha, Nebraska. “She was my world,” he said.

Basco and his wife, Margie Reckard, 63, met 22 years ago and quickly became inseparable. She became the love of his life and his only living relative, he said.

Upon news of the shooting at Walmart, Basco searched for Margie in local hospitals for hours, hoping to reunite with her, but the medical staff wouldn’t tell him anything. It wasn’t until Sunday that law enforcement officers contacted Basco and “told me that my wife had been murdered,” he said.

His wife who had been his angel, his partner and, without a doubt, the love of his life was not returning home.

To help celebrate his late wife’s memory, Antonio invited the whole community to her funeral.

When faced with the overwhelming task of planning his wife’s funeral, Basco realized that he didn’t really have anyone to invite. He decided to ask everyone, Harrison Johnson, the director of Perches Funeral Homes, told BuzzFeed News. So on Tuesday, the funeral home’s Facebook page posted details for the event and invited anyone to the service.

Since then, so many people have vowed to attend that the home said Wednesday night that it was moving the service to a larger venue.

“It’s going to be full,” Basco chuckled. “Makes me feel wonderful.”

Feeling this man’s grief, the community of El Paso rallied around him and vowed to attend the funeral.

The Facebook post and photo of Basco leaning over rows of glowing candles in front of his wife’s cross has now gone viral. More than 11,000 accounts have shared it, and scores of people from all over the US have left comments.

“We have people calling saying they’re flying in from all over — New Mexico, California, Nevada — and asking how to get here,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be an amazing turnout.”

Even people from as far as LA, New York, and even London, were finding ways to support this man in his time of need.

People from all over the world were tweeting their support. Many said they had sent flowers to the funeral home while some were flat out planning on flying into El Paso to attend the funeral.

And papers from the UK to Australia and across the US covered the man’s heartbreaking tragedy.

One woman on Twitter shared that she couldn’t make the service but had sent flowers to the funeral home instead.

In fact, more than 50 people have sent flowers to the funeral home and dozens more have sent cards and offered to help pay for the services.

Even Beto O’Rourke, who is an El Paso native, tweeted his support of Antonio.

The native of El Paso, who is also running for president, retweeted a news story about Antonio encouraging the public to show up and offer their support to the widower.

So many people are planning on attending his wife’s service, that the funeral home has had to change the location to a larger venue.

So many people have vowed to attend, the funeral director said, that the home said Wednesday night that it was moving the service to a larger venue. The chapel can hold about 250 worshippers, Johnson said, but they’re expecting “triple that.”

“I’ve been in this industry for 35 years. Never seen a funeral of this magnitude for a normal person, for not a high-profile citizen,” he added.

Although Antonio may have lost his wife and with her his last family member, he’s gained an entirely new family in the city of El Paso.

Tony Dickey, a chaplain for Disaster and Victim Services International, told CNN that crowds of strangers have approached Basco with words of support, or simply to offer a hug.

“He was basically just mumbling to himself that he had no one anymore, that she was everything he had. He didn’t know what he was going to do,” Dickey said about the day he met Basco. “He kept repeating that he was going to be so alone now.”Dickey said he told Basco, “No, they are your family. El Paso is now your family.”

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Here Is The Selena Funeral Footage You Might Not Have Seen

Entertainment

Here Is The Selena Funeral Footage You Might Not Have Seen

On April 3, 1995, Selena Quintanilla was put to rest after being shot and killed by her fan club president, Yolanda Saldívar. Selena’s funeral was open to the public so fans could bid La Reina De Tejano a final farewell. Let’s take a moment to remember her. Here Is The Selena Funeral Footage You Might Not Have Seen

Selena never built walls separating her from her fans. On the day of her funeral, it was no different.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

Thousands of friends, family, and fans made their way to Corpus Christi, Texas to wish Selena a loving farewell. Mourners gathered at the church where her body was laid in rest for all of her loved ones to see and pay respect to.

La Reina de Tejano music was laid to rest on April 3, 1995.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

Family, friends, and fans were devastated by the sudden and tragic death of the singer. Her career had just started to cross over into English-language music and people were falling in love with her all over again.

She was buried dressed in the iconic purple we have come to associate her with.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

One of Selena’s last moments was performing at the Houston Astrodome in front of thousands of fans. The image of the singer in her purple jumper is one of the most resounding images fans have of Selena all these years later.

Many people lined up to pay their respect of the beloved Tejano singer.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

“She was a great role model for everybody,” a fan told AP.

The world looked on as somber pallbearers carried Selena’s casket to her final resting place.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

The once vibrant light of Selena Quintanilla was not extinguished when she died. She might not be with us physically anymore but her fans have kept her alive with her music and love.

Before lowering her casket, funeral-goers left hundreds of long-stemmed white roses, her favorite.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

The roses were a touching homage to the singer and the love she shared with her fans.

It was truly a sorrowful moment for all those who loved and cherished the singer.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

Hundreds of people lined the streets to get a glimpse of the hearse carrying Selena’s casket to the cemetery. Everyone was trying to get one final look at the special singer who changed the face of Latinos in music.

As in life, Selena’s funeral was open to the public so everyone touched by the singer could bid her farewell.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

Her importance to the Latino community cannot be stated enough. She was the first singer to go mainstream that looked like her community and represented her community with such grace.

The world watched heartbroken family and friends said goodbye.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

The heartbreak was felt around the world as all of her fans watched those closest to her giving her a final goodbye.

And a devastated husband tried to come to terms with his unimaginable loss.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

Chris Perez has continued to keep Selena alive through his own words and actions.

Watch the full funeral footage below. [Warning: You will see open casket images of Selena in the video.]

READ: This Old Interview with Selena’s Killer Will Probably Send Shivers Down Your Spine

Share this story with your friends by tapping the share button below and keep the Quintanilla family in your thoughts and prayers this week.

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Hate Crimes Towards Latinos Spiked in 2019; Overall Highest They’ve Been in a Decade

Things That Matter

Hate Crimes Towards Latinos Spiked in 2019; Overall Highest They’ve Been in a Decade

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

In April of 2019, Connie and Michelle Pineda moved into the quiet suburban neighborhood of Lake Forest in Louisville, Kentucky. At first, their lives were peaceful and uneventful. But soon, the family began to receive a barrage of mysterious harassment.

First, it was the odd chemical burns they found on their front lawn–marks that seemed man-made. Then, some neighborhood kids called the Pineda children a racial slur (the Pinedas are a mixed Latino-Filipino family).

Soon, Connie and Michelle Pineda were waking up to a bright orange swastika accompanied by the n-word spray painted on their driveway.

Photo: Michela Connie Pineda/Facebook

The Pinedas checked their security cameras and discovered the culprit: their neighbor, 52-year-old Suzanne Craft. The Pinedas reported Craft to the authorities, and she was charged with criminal mischief and sentenced to seven days in jail. But that hasn’t stopped her from continuing the harassment. A bag of bullets recently appeared on the Pinedas’ front lawn. It came with a note that read: Get out.

“They live in fear,” the Pinedas’ attorney Vanessa Cantley told The Washington Post. “They have five children and three of them are old enough to know exactly what’s happening. They won’t go out and play in the yard. They won’t go out to walk the neighborhood. They are basically prisoners in their own home. The whole family sleeps in the living room, where there are no windows, because they just don’t know what this woman is capable of.”

Photo: Michela Connie Pineda/Facebook

Unfortunately, stories like this are becoming more and more common in the United States.

The FBI released their annual report detailing hate crime statistics and the data showed that hate crimes have reached their highest level in more than a decade. The report also showed the highest amount of hate-motivated killing since the FBI began collected this type of data in the early 1990s.

According to the FBI report, there were 51 hate-motivated killings in 2019. Twenty-two of those murders were from the El Paso Shooting.

In August of 2019, a gunman open-fired on patrons at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas. It was later discovered that the shooting was racially-motivated. Previous to his killing spree, the shooter wrote on Facebook that Mexicans were “invading” the United States.

Hate crimes against Latinos spiked to 527 in 2019, up from 485 in 2018. Many critics are attributing the rise in hate crimes to the divisive culture we live in–much of which is fueled by President Trump’s racist anti-Latino rhetoric. “When the president calls [Latinos] rapists and criminals, what do you think is gonna happen?” said one Twitter user in response to the news. “His words have meaning to a lot of people and their actions are harmful for our society.”

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