Relatives of the victims of Surfside held a vigil to remember the dead of the Champlain Towers building in Miami

They held a vigil to remember the deceased in the Champlain Towers building in Miami (MARCO BELLO /)

Relatives and friends of the 98 fatalities of the collapse of a building in Surfside (Florida) They returned this morning to the place where this set of apartments was built to remember the deceased just one year after the tragedy.

In a simple ceremony, at 1:22 a.m. local time (5:22 GMT), the same time the building collapsed on June 24, 2021, a first torch was lit on the land where the condominium was located.

Subsequently, the names of the victims were read one by one, after which a new, smaller torch was lit, to illuminate the night in this place that now looks like a construction site but that a year ago housed a 12-storey building that collapsed for reasons still unknown.

Family members gathered around the torches lighting this fire of remembrance and tribute to their loved ones while they hugged each other and looked at the huge hole where the Champlain Towers South building, built in 1981, stood just over a year ago.

Family members gathered around the torches lighting this fire of remembrance and tribute to their loved ones
Family members gathered around the torches lighting this fire of remembrance and homage to their loved ones (MARCO BELLO/)

A “LITTLE MIRACLE”

One of those who attended the event was José Antonio González, father of Edgar González, 44, who died that night.

Jose Antonio told EFE that there is not a single day in which he does not remember his son and that “the family is very bad emotionally”.

And that, despite the fact that the night his son died there was a “small miracle”.

Her daughter-in-law Angela, 44, and her granddaughter, Deven, 16, made it out of the building alive, although they suffered serious injuries from which they have had a hard time recovering.

The three of them had stayed up late watching a horror movie. They were in the same bed when Angela was startled by the noise just in time to pull her daughter towards the bedroom door..

Leaving the room, they fell from the ninth to the fifth floor. Shortly after the apartment 904 in which they lived had completely disappeared.

José Antonio explained that his daughter-in-law and granddaughter they were two of the only three people who came out alive from the collapsed part of this building located on the beachfront. The rest was demolished weeks later.

The other, a young man who was then 15 years old, Jonah Handler, was also at the ceremony tonight to remember his mother, Stacie Dawn Fang, who died just a year ago today.

The names of the victims were read one by one, after which a new, smaller torch was lit.
The names of the victims were read one by one, after which a new, smaller torch was lit (MARCO BELLO/)

Right across from the ceremony site, across Collins Avenue that connects Surfside to Miami Beach, a torch was also lit that will remember the deceased for the next three weeksthe time that the rescue teams needed to recover the remains of the last victim, Estelle Hedaya.

A few meters away and under the solemn title of “Fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters. 98 souls lost their lives on June 24, 2021. Forever in our hearts”, a poster with the 98 names of the victims, many of them of Latin origin, limits the place of the tragedy.

Although one close to the family of the first lady of Paraguay, Silvana López Moreira, who lost her sister, brother-in-law and her three children in the tragedy, lamented that the name of Luis López Moreira III was missing his father’s surname, Louis Pettengill.

COMMEMORATIVE POSTS

Inside, in the area reserved for the private ceremony, family and friends stopped at a double row of poles, carved with sky-blue hearts and a white ribbon, dedicated to each of the victims of the collapse.

On a dark night and without the help of the light coming from the neighboring buildings, which seemed empty tonight, a woman was looking for the name of her relative with the light of her cell phone. Finding it, she gently ran her hand over the wood with the engraved name of her relative or friend.

Several more dared to move some commemorative poles to place them meters furtherperhaps along with that of a relative who also died in the tragedy.

Others knelt in front of the posts to take the marker (pen) that hung from a string on each of them to write messages of remembrance.

“My beloved ‘pars’. I’ll always miss you. Your partner, Marcelo ”, read one of these posts located in front of the access where the official act of remembrance of the victims will be held this Friday morning, which will be attended by the first lady, Jill Biden.

And José Antonio, an 84-year-old Cuban doctor, but still active, is clear about it. He would not like to be here this day.

“I would have liked to ‘leave’ myself and not my son,” he said ruefully.

(With information from EFE)

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Source-www.infobae.com