“These are innocent babies”: Sadness, loss, and love when Yuvalde suffers under heavy clouds | Texas School Shooting

THis sorrow can be found almost everywhere in Yuvalde, Texas. He faces school-aged children who are no longer in the classroom and a sad message written on the back of the car.

Three days after the gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Rob Elementary School, a sense of loss and deep turmoil hangs over this small ranch town like a shadow. “I’m feeling a big heavy cloud right now,” said Jose Casares, uncle of Jackie Casares, who died in the shooting. “It’s not the same.”

The killings affected almost everyone in a community of primarily Latin 16,000, and residents struggled to figure out what had happened and to help their bereaved friends and neighbors.

“What are you talking about? What is your profession?” Justin Hill said, thinking of a friend who lost his daughter in a shooting. “I don’t have enough words.”

There is more movement in Yuvarde than ever before, and at first glance every street has large rallies and monuments celebrating the dead and journalists around the world, but life here feels almost immobile.

“It’s still a long way off,” Hill said when he was standing inside the local fix, a coffee shop in Yuvarde. “A lot of people come to town. Business is busy. But for the whole population, everything is different. We just wait and see.”

A woman embraced by the monument to the victims of Yuvarde cries. Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills / AP

This time of year is usually busy in small towns in the southwest, with high school graduations and summer activities.All postponed.. According to Hill, the area has recently been raining and will usually send people into the river, but no one seems interested in water recreation.

Hill added that after the shooting, the local Wal-Mart was characteristically empty, and local businesses closed early or completely. “That’s how intimate the people in this community are. They are willing to drop everything to do what they can help.”

People began to return to Wal-Mart and got a free bouquet to depart along the 21 crosses surrounding the town square. Inside the store, children play with toys and adults greet their neighbors in a quiet voice. There are no more cards under the Bereaved Parents section of the sympathy card passage.

A girl leaves a flower at a monument in Town Square of Yuvarde.
A girl leaves a flower at a monument in the town square. Photo: Marco Bello / Reuters

Even those who are not directly related to school feel that the loss is personal. “It feels like it’s our child or our niece or nephew, as if it were our child,” said Alex Cobalbias.

The monuments set around the town square were visited by countless people from San Antonio, Lubbock, Laredo, and just below the street.

PJ Talavera came to the monument with his daughter and wife, and soon they embraced a sad friend. “I’ve hugged more than 200 or 300 people in the last 24 hours,” he said. “One thing I can say for sure is that there is a huge amount of love.”

“You can still feel it in the air”

Talavera, who runs a local martial arts studio, is familiar with many of the names of the crosses that line the fountains in the square. He taught and taught some of them in Rob Elementary School’s after-school program. “Too many,” he said, staring at the cross. “These are just innocent babies.”

His martial arts school has remained open since the tragedy, not only to provide his students with regular routines, but also for classes. “They need to do something. They’re just here, this is too much. We need to protect them.”

Cobalbias said he was tired of sitting at home and watching the news, so on Wednesday he headed to the town square and put up a sign that says “Prayer for the Family.”

“I couldn’t imagine going to work every day now, so I’m glad I didn’t have a job,” he said. “You can still feel it in the air.”

Elisa Gonzalez, who lived in the area, began to pay homage and was thrilled to see how the inhabitants care for each other. “They are still together as usual,” she said.

The monument also had families of deceased people, such as his niece Jackie, Jose Casares, who remembered the “little firecracker” standing under the trees.

“She was motivated and loving. Full of love. There are always sparks in her eyes,” he said. “She loved taekwondo, singing and dancing. She loved going to the river and shopping with her. Tier [aunt].. “

When Casares visited the town, she always offered to give up the room to be near, not the hotel. Jackie greeted everyone with a big hug and a big heart, her aunt added. The family comforted each other and received support from friends like Talavera.

But they also expressed frustration as follows: More questions How the shooter was able to continue the rampage for almost an hour. “What did they take 45 minutes to do? Nothing,” said Cazares about the law enforcement officer who responded to the scene. “I heard the governor advocate $ 500 million for the safety of the school. Why wasn’t the school safe? Schools, PDs, governors, etc., they need to be held accountable. there is.”

“These are innocent babies”: Sadness, loss, and love when Yuvalde suffers under heavy clouds | Texas School Shooting

Source link “These are innocent babies”: Sadness, loss, and love when Yuvalde suffers under heavy clouds | Texas School Shooting

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