The 33rd annual All Souls Procession brought hundreds of attendees together to share the sentiment of remembering their friends and family with people whom they have never seen before.
The celebration brought all different kinds of cultures to the forefront as people walked hand in hand sharing photos and memories of their lost loved ones.
Lisa Espinosa has gone to the procession for years, since she moved from Pittsburgh. She remembers her son Raymond Jose “RJ” Pantoja, who died trying to stop a fight at the age of 26.
“Family is love,” Espinosa said. “Those that we love live on. Even when they’ve passed on, they’ve left their mark on this world and on this earth.”
She looks at this evening as a way for her to remember the impact he left on everyone–not just herself.
“He died a hero and that’s who I raised,” she said. “Remembering him tonight is just another tribute, another way to honor his memory among other people in fellowship, in togetherness.”
For Mark Patrick, it took him 10 years to attend the annual event. But this year, he needed to remember his son, Army Sgt. Michael Robert Patrick and his mother, Loretta Sue Patrick, who passed away just a couple of weeks ago.
“I think it's important that we remember and realize the importance in our life that they had in our lives and that we always take a time and just take a breath and remember who they were and what they meant to us,” Patrick said.
Others attendees like Helen O’Brien, who was remembering her parents, see this as a reminder that their loved ones walk beside them everyday, even in spirit.
“I don’t feel like they’re really gone. Right? They’re still with you everyday. They can’t really be gone-gone because you’ve known them for so long and have been around them for so long. You know, you hear their voices and you think about them and know they are there.”
With tears of celebration filling the streets and community members coming together in remembrance, Brian Beck, who has attended the event since the 90s hopes everyone leaves with one message.
“The important thing is to remember to make the most of every moment with every person that you love.”