EL PASO, Texas — It was a beautiful autumn day on the UTEP campus on Monday November 8, one that would have been great for just sitting out in the sun and enjoying the weather with Eder Diaz and Manuel Acosta.
But instead, this cool breezy afternoon served to gather some 400 friends and family in an unplanned memorial for them. Both were shot to death in Juarez on November 2.
Eder was the one I knew. The first day I met him we were sophomores at Cathedral High School on lunch break. He came up to me and asked if I remembered him. Of course we had never met so I was confused. Finally he said I’m just kidding and smiled. I laughed because he had me going for a bit. He was a prankster and loved making people laugh just as much as he loved laughing.
He was charismatic and outgoing. He always had a smile on his face and acted as if we had been best friends for years. He was like that with everyone.
His thoughts were out in the open because he always voiced his opinion and he became a high school legend with his catch phrase “Ese mi,” which he always used before saying your name.
Teachers and friends voiced their pain. “Eder fuiste esa amistad que le dio sentido a mi vida, que le dio valor a todos esos años que pasamos juntos. Gracias querido amigo. Confío que estás en la presencia de Aquel que nos ama, en la presencia del amor mismo. Guíanos Eder, ahora que estás con Él. Te amo y te agradezco por tu amistad,” said Miguel Cruz, a close friend of Eder’s.
Eder graduated from Cathedral High School In 2006. He then continued his education at El Paso Community College and finally transferred to UTEP in fall of 2010.
Eder truly was a considerate being. He remembered the name of your girlfriend or asked how you were because he was that guy who remembered every talk you ever had, or he was the person who would make you laugh and roll your eyes in a good way because you’d say happy birthday Mr. Eder and he’d say happy birthday to you too brooo!
“¡ESE MI EDER! Como te voy a extrañar. ¡Te quiero mucho mi Eder! ¡Te vamos a extrañar toda mi familia! ¡No lo puedo creer que te me has ido!” said Luis Licón, another friend.
The memorial ended with, friends and colleagues giving their pésames to the family’s of both slain students.
The beautiful autumn day became a day of tears, and the image of Eder’s mother sitting in a chair in her blue dress, children all putting their hands on her shoulders, will be my memory of that beautiful autumn day.