Memorial service held for six of ten children killed in Chicago Little Village house fire


“This is a class issue, and it’s a social issue”

Memorial service held for six of ten children killed in Chicago Little Village house fire

our reporters

3 September 2018

In the shape of a crescent moon, the bodies of six of the ten children killed in the August 26 Chicago house fire lay in white caskets at the center of Our Lady of Tepeyac church in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood Saturday morning. The church held a memorial service for the six children, two blocks from the site of the fire.

Approximately 200 people attended, with many traveling long distances from throughout Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Funerals for the four remaining children will take place this week.

Hearses await to move the caskets of the children to the cemetery

The names of the six victims—3-month-old Amayah Almaraz, 5-year-old Ariel Garcia, 11-year-old Xavier Contreras, 13-year-old Nathan Contreras, 14-year-old Cesar Contreras, and 14-year-old Adrian Hernandez—were airbrushed onto T-shirts and worn by family members and friends to commemorate their lives.

There were moments of a celebratory mood. Family and friends stood and sat in front of the church, exchanging personal memories and stories about the children, laughing as children ate candy and playfully chased other.

This was periodically contrasted sharply by a sudden silence and a look upon family members and friends of deep shock, sadness and yearning to understand how this horror could have happened.

On Sunday August 26, the 10 children, ages 3 months to 16 years old, were having a sleepover in the back coach house of an apartment in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood when a fire broke out in the early morning. Eight children died inside while two more would die days later at John H. Stroger Jr….

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