Uvalde families advocate for change at Día de los Muertos vigil
On the steps of the Texas Capitol on Tuesday night, people gathered around an altar covered in colorful paper, gold marigolds and photos of the 19 children killed at the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde in May. The Día de los Muertos event was held to honor those who died in Uvalde and all those who have lost their lives in mass shootings in Texas.
Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday in early November that celebrates loved ones who have died. This year on the holiday, Uvalde families, members of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and community leaders hosted marches and vigils, called Marcha de los Niños, in six Texas cities to remember loved ones and advocate for stricter gun laws.
"It’s our first year celebrating,” said Nikki Cross, the aunt of 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia, who was killed in the Uvalde shooting. Cross said she raised Garcia like a son. “This is our first year, but many more to come, of course.”
The families carried the altar, or ofrenda, from the Texas Capitol to the Governor’s Mansion. Dozens of people trailed behind with marigolds in hand. One by one, people placed flowers on the ofrenda while a mariachi band played.
Those who attended Tuesday's event advocated for raising the minimum age to purchase an assault rifle to 21 and encouraged people to vote in the current election.
“We’re backing up that remembrance with action,” said state Rep. Gina Hinojosa.
Kimberly Rubio said her daughter Lexi Rubio, who was killed in the shooting, was the type of kid every teacher and parent dreams of.
“She was intelligent, compassionate, driven,” Rubio said. “It’s these qualities found in a 10-year-old that we hope to find in our state leaders.”