95ºF

Memorial cruise ride and fundraiser honors Vanessa Guillen

HOUSTON – Community leaders and members held events Saturday to honor the life of a beloved soldier, Vanessa Guillen, who was found murdered at the Fort Hood base. From a barbecue fundraiser to a memorial cruise, loved ones, friends and strangers honored her life and demanded justice.

Fundraiser for Guillen’s Family

The Guillen family’s barbecue fundraiser in southeast Houston marked the start of a full day of events to remember beloved Army specialist, Guillen. The fundraiser at 4474 South Galveston Road supports Guillen’s immediate family.

The family also spoke out asking people to share Guillen’s story and to seek justice in her case.

Memorial Cruise

Community members organized a massive car cruise to honor Guillen’s service. Dozens of people showed up with t-shirts, signs, flags and car decorations. The motorcycles, trucks and cars cruised through Houston’s historic east side and ended at the Taqueria Del Sol on Park Place Blvd.

Mayor Sylvester Turner, Commissioner Adrian Garcia, and Councilman Mike Knox were all present and spoke before the memorial cruise started. Many chanted Vanessa Guillen’s name.

Hundreds of people showed up at the Foodarama parking lot on Galveston Road just across Chaves High School, where Guillen when to school.

“This is not what we sign our kids up to do or to fall tragedy to, so we need to ensure that changes,” Garcia said. “We need to ensure that the supervision at these bases is held accountable whenever such situation should occur. We’re gonna continue to fight to make sure she has an independent investigation to make sure that Vanessa and her family and the community-at-large get to have justice.”

Vigil

Supports hosted a Vanessa Guillen Vigil Saturday evening at the Taqueria Del Dol on Park Place Blvd. Hundreds gathered for a vigil to remember Guillen’s life. Leader from non-profit FIEL Houston co-hosted the vigil. The communty

“I feel like I could be that person because I once wanted to be like that....I don’t know what it’s like, but I’m here to support the family,” Mariana Delosantos, Southwest Houston resident, said.

Guillen touched the lives of so many people who saw themselves in her.

“This is the Mexican flag. She was fighting for our culture. She was fighting for the American culture and we’re representing her,” one attendee said.

Hundreds in masks packed the back parking lot of Taqueria Del Sol on Park Place Blvd in Southeast Houston.

“I just feel like her voice needs to be heard. This is something that’s happening and nobody’s really paying attention to. Nobody’s listening, so we’re here for support,” Silvia Reales, another attendee, said.

Here are tweets from the Saturday events:

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Saturday, July 11, 2020