This article appeared in the August 15, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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One man had no family left. His city won’t let him mourn alone.

John Locher/AP
Antonio Basco cries beside a cross at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 6, 2019. Mr. Basco, whose wife was among the Texas mass shooting victims says he has no other family and welcomes anyone wanting to attend her services in El Paso. Margie Reckard was among 22 people fatally shot on Aug. 3 at a Walmart. Ms. Reckard and Mr. Basco were married 22 years.

Today, we have stories for you examining China’s likely moves on Hong Kong, India’s lockdown of Kashmir, U.S. efforts to stem legal immigration, the invisible traces left by fish, and a particularly persistent Hollywood villain.

First, let’s take a moment to honor an upwelling of kindness. Tomorrow, Antonio Basco buries his wife. She was his only living relative, but he will not be alone.

Margie Reckard was one of 22 people killed in the El Paso, Texas, shooting Aug. 3. Mr. Basco says he has no other family so he invited his city. And his city is turning out to support him.

The funeral home issued the invitation on Tuesday – and is paying for the costs of the service. By Wednesday night, more than 1,000 people had RSVP’d, including Mayor Dee Margo and Rep. Veronica Escobar. A mariachi band, a choir, and other musicians have volunteered to play, funeral director Harrison Johnson told NPR. People from out of state sent flowers. Some are flying in. 

This outpouring of love echoes what El Pasoans told Monitor reporter Henry Gass about their home, calling it the most welcoming city in the world. Of the gunman, one said: “It sounds like he was not getting love. He would have got love from us. We would have given him love.”

On Friday – and after – the city is making sure Mr. Basco feels that love. Mr. Johnson, who is also a pastor, told NPR that he will make sure Mr. Basco feels supported after the funeral is over.

“We’re trying to give him some comfort right now.”

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This article appeared in the August 15, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 08/15 edition