Injured ICE agent among those attending Jaime Zapata rosary
Tue, 22 Feb 2011 05:29:32 GMT —
One special guest arrived shortly before a special funeral service for a slain U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Jaime Zapata.
More than 1,000 people in Brownsville made their way over to the Brownsville Events Center on Monday evening.
They all stopped to remember Zapata's life.
The Brownsville native was killed in the line of duty in Mexico last week.
As they arrived, they were greeted by flashing images of the man so many have come to respect on a giant screen.
The images played to country music.
One special guest arrived shortly before the special rosary " Special ICE Agent Victor Avila.
Agent Avila was shot alongside Zapata in the Mexican state of San Luis Potos early last week.
He survived the two shots in the leg.
Avila entered the Brownsville Events Center on crutches and even received salutes from other law enforcement officials.
Also in attendance was former Congressman Solomon Ortiz.
"It's sad when a young man who gives his life to protect us dies the way he did, so I just came down to pay my respects," Ortiz said.
Ortiz agrees with Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada and says U.S. federal agents should be allowed to carry weapons into Mexico to protect them selves.
"We should do that - in fact we put some money to make it positive that the law enforcement that the locals and the Border Patrol check those cars going into Mexico because it's the weapons that go from here," Ortiz said.
Inside at the rosary, Brownsville Diocese Bishop Daniel Flores, delivered a short and direct message.
Flores told Zapata TMs family that although no words can comfort them at this moment, Zapata was the type of brother we would like to have and the type of son we would like to raise - who do good to others. TM"
Cassandra Guerrero was one of the many in attendance.
"I think (the rosary) was just beautiful and all the people that came to represent the Valley and all the law enforcement," Guerrero said.
Guerrero works for the Brownsville Fire Department and said Zapata TMs death was like losing one of their own.
"Fire fighting, law enforcement, (police department), Border Patrol, Sheriff's Department - it is all a brotherhood and sisterhood, Guerrero said, because in the end, we all come together for the purpose of protecting and serving our community."
A funeral service for ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata will be held Tuesday morning. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is scheduled to attend the service, along with U.S Attorney General Eric Holder.
The service begins at 8:30 a.m. with a funeral Mass at the Brownsville Events Center.
A procession will then follow to Rose Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Brownsville. Burial is set for noon.
The community is asked to line the streets in show of support.