Riverside, California 2022-06-04 08:00:23 –
Two seats remained empty when a senior at Ray High School wore a red graduation robe and submitted it to the American Bank Center on Friday afternoon.
The seats marked with white bows belonged to two seniors, Matthew Garcia and Marcello Sardua, who would not come.
Garcia and Sardua both died at the age of 18. Rollover crash After finishing graduation practice at the American Bank Center on Tuesday.
They were sentenced to death at the crash site just before 11:30 am, and two other students were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
The crash is still under investigation, but it is believed to be due to speed and street racing.
At the graduation ceremony, classmates and their families applauded the two boys loudly when Ray High School principal Roxanne Cuevas read their names and offered condolences.
The day before graduation, many of the crowd spent Thursday night at the Heritage Park at a candlelight prayer rally summoned by Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Gujardo.
As the crescent moon rose, two boys’ friends, family and classmates gathered in the park. Some people brought candles and flowers. When people were deceived, they fixed a red ribbon on their clothes, a color chosen to reflect Ray High School.
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As the crowd heard from city and school officials, tears ran and hugs were freely exchanged during the night.
“There aren’t enough words to describe the sadness of our community about the death of two young adults in our city a few days before graduating from high school,” Guajardo said. “I deeply apologize for the loss of these two young men. I am completely heartbroken.”
Cuevas shared the school motto during vigilance.
“We have a say in our school,” Cuevas said. “‘Stay faithful to Ray’. Part of the truth is to be faithful to Ray and meet during difficult times and celebrations to mourn the loss of Matthew and Marcello. It’s a difficult time, such as tonight when we get together. “
In addition to music by vocalist Sara Garcia, religious leaders, including Rev. Pete Elizalde of Corpus Christi Cathedral, spoke.
“The annoying question that comes to our mind is” how? ” And “why?” Said Elizalde. “My dear family and classmates, friends and community, no one can answer those questions. I hope no one tries because they don’t reach the truth.”
Elizalde said the community would always be with the Garcia and Sardua families.
“When we get together and remember the beauty of these lives, I know what a limited mind wants to do,” Elizalde said. “I just want you to think about how my brother died. My dear family, I’ll ask you now. Dear friends of Marcello and Matthew, I ask you and all of us now. Don’t do that .. Don’t limit their lives to just how they died. “
Elizalde asked the crowd to remember the moments of joy and laughter.
After the remarks were over, the people in front of the crowd lit their candles, shared their flames, and lit the candles of the people behind them. A flickering light spread throughout the park.
After the last prayer, the crowd began to flow little by little, but many stayed and dimmed for another hour in the fading light. Eighteen-year-old Ruben Flores walked through a protracted crowd with a bunch of silver balloons. The mourner stopped writing messages on the balloon.
“That’s our last word,” Flores said. “This is the last time I say something. I couldn’t say goodbye.”
Flores said he was a good friend of both boys, calling them his “brothers” and he was also Garcia’s cousin.
The crowd became quiet when the last few people added a message to the balloons. Flores distributed the balloons to individuals. The individual saw the balloon floating in the sky and immediately released it.
Since the crash, friends and family have been thinking about Garcia and Sardua.
For Garcia, a high school diploma was more than a piece of paper, said his aunt Maribel Durand. He would have graduated first in his family because he was the oldest of the four.
“He wanted his family to be proud that he was trying to do something for himself,” Durand said. “He wanted to show his brother and sister that many children wouldn’t go to school or graduate from school when they already had children. His brother and sister respected him. . “
Garcia, a gentle-voiced “teddy bear,” read the Bible to her blind grandfather and she said she protected her from time to time being bullied.
“He was very humble, compassionate, loving and unselfish,” Durand said. “He didn’t get in the way to take care of everyone.”
He loves soccer and has been playing at Cunningham Middle School for a long time. In high school, he got a job to take care of his family and help pay for the prom.
“He didn’t want to burden his family,” Durand said. “He wanted his prom to be perfect, and he wanted his parents not to worry.”
Remembered by his friends as a hard worker, Sardua wanted to take care of his mother one day.
“He was very excited,” said his friend Jeremiah Curiel, 18,. “He told me the night before going through how happy he was and ready to start his life. I told him I was proud of him.”
Curiel, a high school student from Nishi-Oso, met Sardua at elementary school. Sardua transferred to Ray High School in the year of her freshman. He remembered Sardua as a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, who always had a smile on his face.
“His laughter is so bright that that’s what I miss most about him,” Curiel said. “He was always happy. He always celebrated our achievements. He was never the type of jealousy or hatred. He always wanted to see his friends succeed. .. But what we loved most about him was that he was compassionate and you could. Expect to be there for you no matter what. “
Ray High School community mourns Matthew Garcia and Marcello Saldua Source link Ray High School community mourns Matthew Garcia and Marcello Saldua