The tragedy in Uvalde has left the country in mourning. Funeral processions for the victims have only recently begun in the town where the massacre occurred.
Several funerals have been scheduled for the next few weeks to honour the 21 people whose lives were cut short by the mass shooting.
Amerie Jo Garza died on Tuesday and was laid to rest. Hers is the first of several funerals that will take place in Uvalde, Texas over the coming few weeks. Funerals for two sets of cousins who were tragically killed in the incident will be held together.
In the afternoon, Amerie’s body arrived at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Mourners began to arrive as early as 1.5 hours before the start of service. Because lilac and lavender were Amerie’s favourite colours, many mourners wore them.
A silver hearse pulled up in front of the church shortly after 2 p.m., followed by Amerie’s family in a similar sedan. Six pallbearers wore white gloves with pink flowers attached to their shirts as pallbearers. They carried Amerie’s grey casket with purple undertones.
The cathedral was packed with people paying their condolences to the deceased. Church officials had to intentionally make place for guests on church pews, but even so, some individuals were forced to stand outside.
Amerie’s body was taken to Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery after the Mass. As little Amerie’s remains was lowered to the ground to her ultimate resting place, a few hundred people joined her family in the burial.
The family released a bouquet of white dove-shaped balloons after the majority of mourners had dispersed.
Amerie’s family had remembered her for the life she had lived in the days leading up to her funeral, not for her final day on earth.
They remembered her as a diva with a golden heart, according to them. That she adored her family and adored her younger brother Zayne more than anyone else.
The energetic 10-year-old had aspirations of one day becoming an art teacher. Her mother used Facebook after her death to share the last photo of her beautiful girl. She shared a photo of Amerie clutching a certificate recognising her inclusion on the A-B honour roll. You did not deserve this, my darling baby daughter, read the caption accompanying the photo. Amerie, your mother is in desperate need of your help. “Without you, I can’t get through this existence.”
White crosses have appeared in the town square as a memorial to those who died in the awful incident. On Monday, the Trevio family paid a visit to Amerie’s cross and spoke about the girl’s outstanding qualities.