UVALDE, Texas — Time has not healed the wounds or answered the lingering questions of many of the families who lost their children and loved ones when a gunman unleashed a barrage of bullets at Robb Elementary School last year.
In the 12 months since one of the bloodiest school shootings in American history transformed this quiet Texas community into another example of the nation’s complicated relationship with guns, the parents of the children killed last 24 May have not gone ahead. Nineteen children and two teachers died in the carnage, which left 17 injured.
Some have channeled their anger into political action, wielding it as a shield to protect themselves from getting lost in their grief. Others have seen her worlds shrink under the weight of unrelenting pain, with only close friends and family within their increasingly insular worlds.
Of the six parents interviewed by NBC in Uvalde, all said the shooting is still fresh on their minds. They said they still expect to hear their children’s voices when they wake up in the morning or when someone tells a joke that would have made their children laugh. They have built makeshift memorials filled with toys, photos, and other memorabilia that have remained as vibrant as the day they were created.
“We take it day by day,” said Brett Cross, whose 10-year-old son, Uziyah Garcia, was among those killed last year. “There are no good days anymore. There are only good days.»
On a windy April afternoon, Brett Cross slowly shook his head as he gazed at the monument to his son in the Uvalde town square. It’s just one of nearly two dozen similar monuments that surround a large fountain in a lush city park. Murals of the 21 victims light up public walls throughout the city, turning Uvalde into an open-air gallery filled with colorful works by various Texas artists.
Adorned with flowers and handwritten notes, Uziyah’s memorial stands out from the crowd with its oversized stuffed lion and red Spiderman basket.
«Time does not heal», Cross he said, exhausted from a recent trip to Austin, where he joined other families and advocated for a gun bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase an assault weapon from 18 to 21.
Cross has become a full-time gun reform activist and one of the most vocal advocates for new gun laws in the year since his son was killed, driving three hours every week to the Texas capital to defend laws. stricter measures that, according to their supporters, would prevent future tragedies. . He now has more than 58,000 followers on Twitter, speaks regularly with elected leaders and trained to speak clear after mass shootings.