David Garcia Memorial Service, October 13, 2001
On a severe clear Saturday, two-decades ago, my family and I remembered my love; husband, daddy, son, brother, uncle, cousin. Three weeks planning a funereal service on a barrier island in a public State Park and with the iconic Boardwalk restaurant, culminated in a beautiful celebration of life with violins and butterflies.
Funerals and memorial services are a fact of life which we’re all called upon to arrange and attend, however, this event deviated from the ordinary course of requiem. There was no body. The only proof that Dave wasn’t living was that he wasn’t on the boardwalk with us. He was, not so simply, missing. This service was on a much larger scale. My family was grieving on a public stage, during a time when nearly all of humanity was steeped in collective mourning. Hundreds of similar services and funerals were taking place across the tri-state area and beyond, some people were attending several a week, even two in a single day.
David’s cast in life was a wide as the ocean. The news of his service, spread by word of mouth and the obituary section of the Newsday, which was the largest section of the paper for several months. The notification reached over 500 known people who stood with uncountable drifters upon the salt-air-weathered planks. The lyrics of Beth Nielsen Chapman, chanted by friends, carried on the breeze to where our young family spent untold hours building castles in the sand and splashing in the shoals of Fire Island, as crimson sunsets dipped below the horizon.
This post is more than a simple reminiscence of a single day in my history, two-decades ago. It is an invitation, for all those who could not attend that day and who have come to know David through their visits to the fountains at the September 11th National Memorial and Museum, and my writings in this portal.
© 2021 Deborah Garcia, All rights reserved
All Images by Deborah Garcia
Location: Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh, New York