We never met you, yet you’re gone. Though your deaths on the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore were widely reported, your names may soon fade from memory.

Francis Scott Key (1779-1843), a Maryland lawyer and poet, wrote the lyrics to the U.S. national anthem, «The Star-Spangled Banner.»

Had you been police officers, firefighters, or perhaps of a different ethnicity or social class – wealthy musicians – the response might have been different. There might have been an outpouring of support for your families.

Imagine fundraising to cover funerals and funds to keep families together, college scholarships for children, and jobs for mothers.

Perhaps a permanent memorial of flowers at the bridge or a promise of a grand monument near the new bridge could have been your tribute.

But you were Miguel Luna, José Mayor López, Dorlian Castillo Cabrera, Maynor Yasir Suazo Sandoval, and Alejandro Hernández Fuentes. Men from Mexico and Central America worked to make the bridge safer for everyone on that fateful night.

The tragedy on the Francis Scott Key Bridge left gaping holes in the lives of families and loved ones, both here in the United States and abroad. Many immigrant families send remittances to support relatives back in their home countries.

These families and loved ones deserve financial support and counseling from the contractors, city, county, and state. A monument should be built on the new bridge to honor their memory.

Despite being easily demonized by right-wing agendas, immigrants are a vital part of constructing and repairing our critical infrastructure across American cities.

Without them, our hotels and restaurants would be forced to close, crops would rot in the fields, and meat wouldn’t be processed according to safety and hygiene standards without the contributions of these immigrants in slaughterhouses.

The American economy thrives on the backs of immigrant labor. We must treat these workers and their families with the respect they deserve.


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