October 20, 2021

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A monument to the missing in a collapsed building in Florida

A monument to the missing in a collapsed building in Florida

Lorenzo and Alfredo, Ilan and Deborah: The victims of the collapsed building on the Surface near Miami are no longer numbered, but the names and faces adorning Saturday are a makeshift monument erected on the camp’s basic lifeguards’ fence.

Behind the gates, on a street, a winged smoky smoke still billows from the Champline Towers building, cranes clearing the rubble of the disaster that left at least four people dead and 159 missing from Wednesday night.

Under the picture of father Alfredo with beard and glasses and his teenage brown haired son Lorenzo, “Missing” and a message: “A family friend tells me they were in apartment 512”.

A photo of an elderly couple at a table in a restaurant, a photo of a young man wearing a suit and bow tie, or a photo of a couple hugging on the beach, by Ilan Knife and Deborah Prestivin. Sometimes passages from the Bible were written in sticky notes.

Around the photos, flowers were hung and candles were placed on the ground.

“We see smoke in the distance, and the faces of those who went missing here are now unforgettable,” said Olivia Astro, a French woman who has lived in this small town north of Miami for 20 years.

“We put faces to these 159 people who are missing, to these parents, to these children. They are just like us,” she explains with tears in her eyes.

Gina Berlin, who has lived in the neighborhood for nearly 30 years, came to pray for the missing. “I’m still shocked,” said the 54-year-old woman, who managed to escape with two friends who lived in the untouched area of ​​the building.

– Peace and Meditation –

However, it is difficult to collect between the noise of power generators and the emergency vehicles coming and going from the base camp. Police forbade people from standing in front of the monument even for a while.

On a few more streets, the tranquility of a park became a place of remembrance, contrary to the turmoil of cranes.

On the corner of a street lined with small houses, residents in the neighborhood have installed a small monument at the gates of a dog park. Bouquets of flowers, messages of support and the names of many who went missing were hung on trains with the number of their residences.

The idea came to 53-year-old Dana Calvin on Friday. “I would like to convey my prayers and my love to the community, especially those waiting for answers,” he said, referring to the families of the missing.

Daniela Calcadilla, 48, sits cross-legged on a bench while her dog Paco works.

“Here you can find peace,” he explains. “I know many families of the past, and meditation is great for keeping your body and mind calm,” he explains.

Crossing in front of the park, Rafael Amar stands in front of the monument.

The 63-year-old member of the Jewish community, who was born in Morocco and has lived in Surside for 20 years, returns from a synagogue on a Sabbath day “because of the missing”.

Many of the missing in the building are Jews, but this little monument “shows that we are a community in this small town. We are all neighbors, which creates a sense of extraordinary unity. ”

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