Over 700 strangers lined up to pay their respects to Margie Reckard, 63, one of 22 people killed when a gunman opened fire at a Walmart store, after her husband’s viral invite to the public because the couple had no other family left.
Images from the La Paz Faith Memorial and Spiritual Center showed a room filled with hundreds of flowers for the memorial.
The funeral home said it received 10,000 messages and tributes and over 900 floral arrangements from the public.
Mourners also formed a line stretching around the block.
Thousands of El Pasoans are saying goodbye to Margie Reckard, victims of the #ElPasoShooting and consoling her husband
They had no family in El Paso so he invited the public.
The line to enter stretches for nearly half a mile.
— Julio-Cesar Chavez (@JulioCesrChavez) August 17, 2019
The Perches Funeral Home first wrote in a Facebook post this week that Antonio Basco was hoping as many people would attend the funeral as possible, noting the couple had no living family members.
“Mr. Antonio Basco was Married for 22yrs to his wife Margie Reckard, He had no other family. He welcomes anyone to attend his Wife’s services,” the funeral home wrote.
El Paso residents Victor and Mary Perales told The New York Times they came to support Basco in part because they related to his pain due to the loss of their oldest son two years ago.
Line outside the La Paz Faith center in El Paso for the memorial service of Marjorie Reckard, who was killed in the El Paso shooting. Her husband Antonio Basco, invited the public because they have no family. El Paso Juarez is showing up strong for Mr Basco pic.twitter.com/N0xdIWwhqy
— john r stanton (@dcbigjohn) August 16, 2019
“We know how hard it was for us and we were surrounded by family. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to go through this alone,” Victor Perales said. “I said we’re going to this funeral to give him a hug and let him know we can be his family.”
Hala Hijazi travelled from San Francisco to attend the service. She said that she read Tony Basco’s story and knew she had to attend.
“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,” she said.
This is incredible… just some of the hundreds of flowers for El Paso’s Margie Reckard. Margie was her husbands only family and he feared no one would come to her funeral. Tonight, thousands are expected to attend. #ElPasoStrong @NBCNightlyNews @MSNBC pic.twitter.com/QPbklOVHvZ
— Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBC) August 16, 2019