In Uvalde, the grieving continues for the lives lost in the Robb Elementary School shooting. On Wednesday, June 1, the community came together to honor the life of teacher Irma Garcia, according to ABC News.
Mourners gathered at Sacred Heart Catholic Church to honor Garcia and her husband Joe, who died of a heart attack two days after the shooting.
A somber procession of officers and civilians on motorcycles led two black hearses carrying the Garcias to the church. Flowers covered the closed caskets as they made their way inside.
Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller thanked Garcia for her service in teaching while also honoring the children who passed away by reading their names during the memorial.
“Because you were there with them,” he said. “You did what you would have done with your own children. You took care of them until your last breath.”.
The 48-year-old teacher was days away from finishing her 23rd year at Robb Elementary. She left behind four children: a Marine, a current college student, a high schooler, and a seventh-grader.
García-Siller did most of the readings in English but also spoke in Spanish to the community.
“We are all hurting,” he said. “In the midst of so much, please, please, people need comfort, people need you. Let us all foster a culture of peace.”
Joe Garcia collapsed and passed away less than two days after the shooting after dropping off flowers at a memorial. The high school sweethearts were preparing to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on June 28.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona attended the funeral. In a statement, he implored Americans to unite as a nation and fight back against this cycle of violence to protect the country’s students and educators.
The church also hosted services Wednesday for 10-year-old Jose Flores Jr. According to his father, Flores was an honor roll student and received a commemorative certificate for achievement just hours before he was shot and killed.