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Mural unveiled for Key Bridge collapse victims at vigil

Alex Mann, Baltimore Sun on

Published in News & Features

BALTIMORE — Yellow vests, hard hats and work boots cling to wooden crosses memorializing six men.

Miguel Luna. Jose Mynor Lopez. Dorlian Castillo Cabrera. Alejandro “Alex” Hernandez Fuentes. Carlos Hernandez. Maynor Suazo Sandoval.

Behind their crosses stands a mural depicting the tragedy that claimed their lives: They were members of a construction crew filling potholes on the Francis Scott Key Bridge in the early morning of March 26, when a massive container ship crashed into one of the bridge’s support piers, collapsing the span and sending them plunging to their deaths.

More than three weeks after the bridge fell, indefinitely disrupting the Port of Baltimore and permanently altering the city’s skyline, the region continued to mourn the six men killed. On Friday in Hawkins Point and Dundalk — communities the bridge used to connect — people gathered for a vigil unveiling the mural and a service for one of the men who died.

“I’m sorry for them, and at the same time I’m sorry for me,” Pascual Magana, 60, said at the vigil.

His eyes welled up as he kneeled to light candles at the base of each cross, two of them for close friends he lost — Mynor Lopez and Castillo Cabrera — and all of them representing people like him who escaped poverty in Central America by coming to the United States to perform grueling work that is both critical and easy to overlook.

 

Magana, Mynor Lopez and Castillo Cabrera worked construction together in Virginia, fixing bridges and maintaining other types of infrastructure, he said. The three of them came here from Guatemala and got to know each other on job sites, joking and taking jabs at each other about their performances on any given day. He said they were “really good friends.”

“I’m so sorry for their families. They had children,” Magana, who lives in Glen Burnie, said in Spanish.

He was one of about a dozen people who on Friday evening took in the mural painted by artist Roberto Marquez, of Dallas, Texas.

Marquez has responded to the scenes of several tragedies of national and international scale and made art with hopes of helping people cope with their grief. He painted murals after a gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers, and when dozens of migrants died in a sweltering tractor trailer near San Antonio.

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