Man's wife died in El Paso shooting and he has no other family, so hundreds turn up at funeral
Over the weekend, hundreds of strangers turned up to mourn with a widower at the funeral of his wife, who was one of the victims in the recent mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
Antonio Basco was worried that few people would show up to pay their respects for his late wife, 63-year-old Margie Reckard, at the La Paz Faith Center.
This is what happened during the poignant funeral service:
The pair, who met in Omaha, Nebraska and had been together for 22 years, moved to El Paso a few years ago. They were not known to interact a great deal with those outside of their small but happy family of two.
So Basco, with the help of Perches Funeral Home, decided to extend an invite to the public so that he wouldn't have to bury his longtime companion entirely alone - but instead with a crowd of sympathetic strangers.
The invitation, posted to Facebook, read: "Mr. Antonio Basco was Married for 22yrs to his wife Margie Reckard, He had no other family. He welcomes anyone to attend his Wife's services [sic]."
These hundreds of sympathetic strangers wanted to show their solidarity with Basco and show him that he did, indeed, have a family he could turn to for support.
"Never had so much love in my life," Basco reportedly said in response to the incredible turnout.
In fact, Harrison Johnson, funeral director at Perches Funeral Homes, told NPR that upon learning attendance would exceed the funeral home's 250-person capacity, he made sure to update the location of the service accordingly.
Certainly, he moved the service to the larger La Paz Faith Memorial and Spiritual Center in El Paso.
Throughout the service, volunteers handed out donated water bottles, snacks and meals to those in attendance.
A number of the attendees also wore "El Paso Strong" t-shirts, brought flowers, canvas paintings, and wood carvings that they gave to Basco.
It was a memorable night, to say the least - despite being born out of tragedy.