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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Those who gave their lives… Miriam Vega 4 RIFA & Immigration Reform

Miriam Vega
"It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." Mikhail Bakunin

     A Guatemalan immigrant who naturalized years ago, Miriam was a tireless worker for those who have no voice.  Though I did not know her, those who did had a great love and respect for her as a devoted citizen who worked ‘tirelessly to organize the community, to fight alongside them for immigration reform and against daily injustices suffered by the poorest workers”. 

     Today, the voice of the voiceless is being heard across the nation as those who participate together find the power and protection to speak out, most recently through the Reform Immigration For America campaign. Miriam was one of those who made all of this possible.

      You don’t have to die in battle to die a soldier for the cause.  Miriam perished in an automobile accident on her way to the March on Washington D.C. for immigration reform. 

     According to a report in Eye Witness News 3, a Mazda MS3 operated by Jamie Mejia, 20, toyota rav-4of Stamford was traveling northbound in the southbound lane of Strawberry Hill Avenue when it struck a tree just before 5 a.m.. After hitting the tree, police said the car struck the passenger side of a Toyota RAV4 driven by Maria Sandoval, 41, of Stamford.  Maria’s passenger was Miriam Vega.

     The Jaws of life were likely used to cut Miriam from the wreckage.  She was transported to Norwalk Hospital’s critical care unit.  Miriam passed from her wounds.

     A message on the RIFA website says:
“Mrs.. Vega was a tireless fighter for the rights of all immigrants despite the fact that she herself had her papers. I think the least we can do as a community is to honor her work posthumously for her passion for helping her community even though she personally had no need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” said Claudia Carias, member of MIGUA in New York, who organized one of the hundreds of buses that went to DC on March 21. “ We need to do all we can to show our solidarity to the Vega family and the two survivors,” she added.
     All of us face mortality, a gift God has given us and which is so misunderstood.  I hope when it is my time I can go doing what I love so much, and in a cause so great.

     Miriam, you will be missed.  I did not need to know you in person to know of your great works.  There are those who seek the spot light, and those who make the voices for freedom from oppression heard.  Of the two, those who fight in the trenches have the valor, from my point of view.

     My prayers to the survivors, Jaime Mejia and Maria Sandoval.

     Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law, Denver, Colorado

     Authors note, the Toyota Rav-4 is a file photo only, not associated with Mrs. Vega or the accident.

A memorial mass will be held this Thursday, March 25, 6:00pm at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 19 Smith Street, Port Chester, NY 10573. To help support her family and community through this difficult time, please send Donations to her daughter Jennyfer Lima c/o First County Bank, Account# 669122162.

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