The Amancio Project Vigil

I received this message in the comments section, but I thought it deserved greater notice. This is a follow-up to my original blog entry from June 12th, 2005.

June 27,2005
The Amancio Project Vigil surpassed expectations. The tone and mood was one of joy, sadness and resolve.
Because of the dreadful murders Yuma yesterday of six people (four children), the news media came early and left before many vigil attendees arrived and left before the speakers delivered their messages. A head count went over 100.
Amancio’s family was there in force, all wearing t-shirts with Amancio’s picture on them. That was a beautiful sight by itself. Many people drew and wrote their thoughts onto “The Memory Wall.” A video was shown depicting Amancio’s life from early child hood to a few days before his death. It was obvious he was a happy child, spunky adolescent, spirited teenager and talented and giving adult. A poem by Don Gilbert, “One of Liberty’s Children” dealing with hate crime was read by Don and a framed copy handed to Amancio’s mom.
Speakers included myself as the Organizer of The Yuma County Gay Meetup and The Amancio Project, Representative Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona House of Representatives (first speaking for herself then delivering a message from Arizona Representative Amanda Aguirre), Luis Heredia representing Congressman Grijalva, Brenda Galvan Aguirre from the Arizona Leadership Institute, Donna Rose with the Human Rights Campaign, Lori Girshick the Anti-Violence Project Coordinator for Wingspan in Tucson, a hate crime victim’s mother whose son was murdered three years ago and the culprits have not been caught, a member of the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance, Vigil coordinator Hanna, with the Yuma County Gay Rights Meetup.
No Yuma city or county representative was in the audience, an observation which did not go unnoticed by Rep. Sinema and Mr. Heredia.
A wreath was presented to the family. The mother and the grandmother then handed out “Angel” pins and small crosses to everyone while the candles were being prepared (unfortunately, it became too breezy to light them).
It is now incumbent upon all of us to keep this spirit alive and the momentum going.
Michael H. Baughman
The Amancio Project (still under construction)