SGA honors victims of bridge collapse

Elizabeth Soza/Staff Writer

Hundreds of students and faculty gathered at FIU’s Graham Center Ballrooms on Wednesday, March 21, to honor the victims of the University City bridge collapse that happened over spring break.

“This is a strong community, this is a caring community, a community that will comfort one another through this,” said University President, Mark B. Rosenberg. “This is a community that rises time and again.


The Student Government Association hosted the vigil for the six victims of the bridge collapse, among them, Alexa Duran, a freshman at FIU. At the vigil, Miami Dade County Police Chaplain Deacon Ralph Luis Garcia asked that the audience link hands and pray for the souls of the victims.


Duran’s family attended the vigil along with Duran’s sorority, Alpha Xi Delta.

Family of Alexa Duran stands by collapse sight during vigil held on Wednesday, March 21 to honor victims of pedestrian bridge collapse. Photographer Elizabeth Soza/PantherNOW

Sweetwater Mayor Orlando Lopez also spoke, and mentioned the outpour of support that has been coming not just from the neighboring communities, but as well as nationwide.

During the vigil, Lopez read a letter he received from an elderly woman living in Ohio.

“May God guide us and help you through this difficult and horrible ordeal. I am sending thoughts and prayers and hugs to all,” Lopez read.

FIU Concert Choir performs “Amazing Grace” at the vigil. Photo by Elizabeth Soza/PantherNOW

Two of Duran’s closest high school friends, Michaela Reyes and Sofia Rincon also dedicated the song “Stay” by Rihanna in honor of their favorite memory of her.

“Alexa, she had a beautiful voice, and the most humbling thing about it is that she didn’t tell anybody,” Rincon said.

The FIU Concert Choir also closed the vigil singing “Amazing Grace.”

Afterwards, Rosenberg, SGC-MMC and SGC-Biscayne Bay Campus president Krista Schmidt and Leonardo Cosio and the FIU marching band lead a procession through the MMC campus to the memorial site located on SW 107 Ave and 8th St.

Rosenberg approached the memorial with Duran’s parents by his side, where they were guided through prayer by a Catholic priest.

Alpha Xi Delta members embraced Duran’s mother and mourned together as they placed flowers and ribbons at the site.

Flowers placed at the vigil site. Photo by Elizabeth Soza/PantherNOW

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