At 1:22 a.m. this past Saturday, the exact moment of the Champlain Tower South building collapse two years ago, the Surfside community began a solemn act of mourning and remembrance. A torch-lighting event near the collapse site served as a poignant and heartfelt tribute to the victims.
Following the torch lighting, families, survivors and local residents gathered in Surfside’s Veterans Park to speak of their loved ones through personal stories near a touching memorial display.
“All that’s left of my grandmother is what she left in me,” said Michael Noriega, who lost his grandma, Hilda, in the collapse.
“An inheritance is what you leave for somebody but a legacy is what you leave in somebody,” he added. “And what more can I do to honor my grandmother than to share the love and encouragement that my grandmother would want me to share with everybody because that’s what she poured to me.”
This annual gathering ensures that the memory of the victims lives on and that their loss is never forgotten, fostering healing and remembrance in Surfside.