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'Duty to remember' | All Souls' Day service remembers migrants killed in sweltering trailer

In June, 53 migrants died from heat-related illnesses inside a tractor trailer on Quintana Road.

SAN ANTONIO — With heads bowed and eyes closed, the Lord's prayer was recited before a crowd of people on Quintana Road late Sunday afternoon.

The prayer was read during a memorial service for the 53 migrants who died along the road in a sweltering hot 18-wheeler in June. In September, three  people were charged in the deadly human smuggling attempt.

While the tragedy is still fresh on people's minds, Sunday's service was to remember how the victims lived.

"We have a duty to remember and this is what [this service] is for," said Sandragrace Martinez.

Martinez is the organizer of the All Souls' Day Mass but she also stands in attendance for a mother who couldn't make the service. 

Karen Caballero's sons Alejandro and Fernando died trying to make the trip from their country in Honduras, along with Alejandro's girlfriend Margie Grajeda.

Martinez sponsored their mother Karen and two other family members in order for them to make the trip to San Antonio. Martinez said all three were approved for an emergency visa by the U.S. Embassy in Honduras, until they were considered a flight risk two days later.

"Unfortunately, we're not going to be able to have that moment of coping with grief [for the family] but I'm working on it," said Martinez.

Until then, the crowd spent the afternoon commemorating all of the departed with songs, candles and marigolds.

"The sisters asked us to keep the marigolds to remember [the migrants] and for them to be close to our hearts so I thought that was beautiful for them to do for us," said Martinez.


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