The following comes from a Mar. 21 story in the Imperial Valley Press.
Nestled in the eastern outskirts of the small town of Holtville sits Terrace Park Cemetery. Upon entering it looks like any other cemetery found across the United States; rows of tombstones and flowers mark where the deceased found their final resting places….
But beyond the typical fence sits a fence separating the cemetery from what looks like an empty dirt lot. Indistinct, it could look like an abandoned area, meant for any number of reasons. However, upon closer inspection, one would see a field of small bricks laid throughout the field, punctuated with small, handmade wooden crosses.
It is here where the bodies of more than 600 unidentified men, women and children can be found; individuals who paid the ultimate price of trying to venture, for whatever reason, into this country illegally, only to have their journey end in one of the largest mass graves in the United States.
On Thursday morning, members of Border Angels, along with students from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Marymount California University, De La Salle High School and others, gathered among the anonymous graves to participate in a Catholic funeral Mass for the deceased.
“Our brothers and sisters here died without justice,” said Father LaSalle Hallisey, chaplain of De Le Salle High School. “We are giving them what they did not get, what they deserve.”
But more than just a religious ceremony, Thursday’s mass served as an eye-opener for many of the students in attendance.
With the deportation of close to 2 million illegal immigrants already during the Obama administration, the students received a first-hand view of the humanistic aspect of the controversial issue.
“The whole purpose is to get the personal truth and experience of the lives of immigrants and the personal struggles they go through,” said 16-year-old DLSHS student Peter Zhu. “We wanted to get a deeper meaning and reflect on the solidarity of lives lost for a better life.”
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