Antonio Bosco did not expect a huge turnout for his wife's funeral but hundreds of well-wishers from across the country gave him a heartwarming surprise.
Antonio Basco lost his wife, Margie Reckard, 63, in the shocking mass shooting that occurred in El Paso, Texas earlier this month. The shooting left 22 people dead and even more injured. On Saturday, August 17, morning, Antonio held a funeral for his late wife. As he and his wife had no other family, he had invited the community to attend. However, he did not expect a large turnout. Nonetheless, the church was flooded with hundreds of well-wishers who had come to pay their respects and prove that there was still good in a world that otherwise seems so senseless, BBC reports.
According to the report, about 700 people were lining up in order to attend the funeral. In fact, the queue extended around the church and along another road. The size of the crowd was so large that the funeral service had to be shifted to a bigger venue at the very last minute. Despite this, it was standing-room-only at the new venue. When Antonio walked in, he was completely taken aback. He stated as he entered, "This is incredible." The most heartwarming part of this story is that attendees had traveled from across the United States in order to be present for the funeral.
One of the attendees was Hala Hijazi, who had traveled all the way from San Francisco to pay her respects to Margie. She told the BBC that she had read about Antonio story and just knew that she had to attend. Hijazi explained in an interview, "It pierced into my heart and soul and made me book a flight to El Paso. We need to show when America is in pain, we are all in pain." In addition to the diverse crowd of attendees, numerous others sent in floral arrangements. As per reports, about 900 floral arrangements were sent to the funeral service — some from as far as Asia. Others, still, came in from Dayton, Ohio, where another mass shooting had recently taken place.
Furthermore, the funeral service company decided to pitch in and do their part as well; the whole service was fully covered by the company. The funeral home director, Harrison B Johnson, said, "We have had a tremendous outpouring of support after we shared the post. It is our privilege to honor and serve the community to try and make that burden lighter after a tragedy that has devastated our community. We just wanted to do our part to help in some small way." The service was a heartwarming send-off for Antonio's later wife. It included singing as well as a mariachi band.
Antonio and Margie first met at a bar 22 years ago before eventually settling down in El Paso together. Antonio said of his late wife and their life together, "She was a lady and she was the love of my life. [Our life was] like a fairytale." Margie's son from another marriage, Dean Reckard, stated, "[My mother] loved everyone regardless of color, religion, or politics." Her grandson Tyler added, "People were telling me they came from different faiths, different cities. It's just incredible how much love and support every single one of you has shown." As America heals from yet another mass shooting, it can only be hoped that the country's politicians act now to implement common-sense gun legislation in order to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.
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__ Make no mistake folks, THIS is our America ❤️ and THIS is what’s worth voting, marching, debating, petitioning, calling, bombarding our political officials w/sharing, retweets, packing out town halls, screaming, shouting, loud and clear proclaiming My Country 🇺🇸 we must work to protect one another, we are all one humanity and this is our country, our planet. The goal is to divide us by hate. Let’s do all we can, in big and small ways, to not let them win. Please remember this moment in El Paso when 2,000 strangers came to stand with this one man, Antonio Basco, who lost his wife to gun violence. We can’t give up. ___ #elpasoshooting #elpasostrong #oneamerica #mycountryrightorwrong #antoniobasco