By Brenda Norrell
Finding Spirit, Living Compassion: A Memorial Shrine was dedicated at Southside Church today in Tucson, created from the shoes left behind on the migrant trails.
Written in stone: The names of hundreds, out of the thousands who have died crossing the US/Mexico border, were printed on the stones at the base of the shrine.
It was here, at Southside Church, that residents of Tucson gave sanctuary to thousands of people, most of them Indigenous Peoples, fleeing torture in Central and South America during the 1980s and 90s.
During today's service, those who leave water in the desert for migrants dying of thirst, like Tohono O'odham Mike Wilson, were referred to as "clouds" in the desert. Church members spoke of those who cross the desert in search of better lives, most seeking work to survive or attempting to join their family members. The stories shared included the most recent of the mothers who died in the desert. Her two young children led searchers to their mother's body near Bisbee.
While it is rare to see a television news crew on a story like this on Sunday morning, especially in these times of censorship, Tucson's Channel 13 was there.
Read about Valarie James and the Las Madres Project: