Several hundred people gathered in Patchogue on a blustery afternoon yesterday to pay tribute to Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant killed in a 2008 hate crime.
The vigil, organized by Joselo Lucero, the victim’s brother, centered around a “Wall of Hope” where attendees could write missives about peace and acceptance. A blood drive in Lucero’s honor will also take place in Patchogue today between 4-8:30pm.
Rev. Allan Ramirez of the Brookville Reformed Church moderated the event, and speakers included New York State Human Rights Commissioner Galen Kirkland and Suffolk County Legislator Vivian Viloria-Fisher (D-East Setauket). Taking the podium at the start of the vigil, Mayor Paul Pontieri announced that the spot of the attack on Lucero would now be called “Unity Place,” and a new street sign marked the change.
Towards the end of the vigil, several musicians performed in memory of Lucero, and, at the close of the event, Joselo Lucero issued a call for peace.
Here are some videos from the vigil. I’ll post photos later today, and more videos tomorrow morning.
Galen Kirkland, one of the first to address the crowd at the vigil, ends his speech:
Robert Bruey performs “Perdóneme Hermano” (Forgive Me Brother), a song that he wrote after the Lucero killing:
Joselo Lucero reiterates the message of hope and peace in the vigil’s closing address: