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On May 26, two days after a horrific mass shooting claimed the lives of 19 elementary-school students and two teachers, the Duchess of Sussex arrived in Uvalde, Texas, to place flowers at the base of a newly constructed memorial. The memorial, one of multiple erected in the wake of Tuesday’s violence, was placed in front of the Uvalde County Courthouse and honors the names of the deceased, each scrawled across white crosses. In heart-wrenching images from the scene, Markle places white roses against the cross bearing the name of Uziyah Garcia, one of the Robb Elementary students killed on Tuesday.
“He was my world. He was my everything,” Garcia’s father, Sergio Garcia, told the Los Angeles Times. “Now I’m never going to get to hold him again, never going to get to kiss him again.”
The visit was a rare unannounced public appearance from Markle, who currently lives in California with her husband, Prince Harry, and their two children, Archie and Lili. She paid respects while accompanied in Uvalde by a bodyguard, but Prince Harry was not in attendance. According to The Daily Mail, she did not speak to any press during the visit, instead maintaining her focus on the memorial. At Garcia’s cross, in particular, she paused to silently bow her head. Markle is one of the first public figures to visit Uvalde following the tragedy; President Joe Biden is expected to visit in the coming days.
The deadliest shooting since a gunman killed 20 children and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, the Uvalde massacre will be remembered for the innocent lives lost to senseless violence. Their names include: Uziyah Garcia, Tess Marie Mata, Eliana “Ellie” Garcia, Jose Flores, Jacklyn “Jackie” Cazares, Alexandria Aniya Rubio, Jayce Luevanos, Xavier Javier Lopez, Nevaeh Bravo, Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, Amerie Jo Garza, Alithia Ramirez, Layla Salazar, Makenna Lee Elrod, Jailah Nicole Silguero, Rogelio Torres, Eliahana Cruz Torres, Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, Miranda Matthis, Eva Mireles, and Irma Garcia.
To support the community of Uvalde, you can find information on relief programs, blood drives, and GoFundMe pages here.
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