UVALDE, Texas — Thursday marked a tragic milestone.
Dozens of people gathered at Hillcrest Cemetery to honor the birthdays of two Robb Elementary students. Eliahna Torres and Nevaeh Bravo would have been 11 years old.
The two girls were killed in the deadliest school shooting in more than a decade.
They were deeply loved.
“I can’t believe I am speaking a tribute instead of wishing you a happy birthday in person,” said Eliahna’s uncle. “It’s still so surreal.”
On Jan. 12, family and friends came together at both gravesites. They prayed, sang ‘Happy Birthday,’ released balloons and shared precious memories.
“You left an enormous impact on this world in the 10 years you were gifted to us,” said Eliahna’s uncle. “You were a beautiful girl inside and out. You were smart and sassy; like me, very loving and compassionate, and you always put others first.”
Eliahna's uncle ended his speech by saying, "Happy heavenly birthday."
Attorney David Lopez spoke to KENS 5 on behalf of Eliahna’s parents.
“She was a very vivacious, bright, happy child,” said Lopez. “That is something we all miss.”
Lopez said Eliahna’s parents were grateful for the large showing of support.
He urged the public to remember the names of the Robb Elementary victims.
“Remember what happened and the tragedy that took place here in Uvalde,” he said. “Never to forget. This would have been [Eliahna's] 11th birthday and we are here in a cemetery. I hope everyone keeps her and this family in their prayers.”
In November, Eliahna's mother filed a lawsuit against Uvalde police, the school district and the maker of the gun the shooter used. In the lawsuit, Sandra Torres accuses law enforcement of failing the victims by "barricading them inside two classrooms with the killer for more than an hour." She is calling for accountability and change.