AUSTIN (KXAN) — Friends and family are mourning the loss of a woman who was loyal to her family and her country. On Tuesday afternoon, 83-year-old Georgia Esquivel was hit and killed in the parking lot of McCallum High School. She was there to see her uncle, a war veteran, receive a special high school diploma.
Every Veterans’ Day, Esquivel could be seen dressed in her red, white and blue.
“War affects not just people in uniform — the men and women in uniform — but it affects the entire family,” says longtime friend Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez. “And so, how that affected her family, her grandmother had four sons, and three of them were drafted in WWII. That made a huge impression on her.”
Rivas-Rodriguez has worked with Esquivel over the years for the Voces Oral History Project. The project, which documents and creates better awareness of the contributions of U.S. Latinos and Latinas in past wars, interviewed Esquivel back in 2002. Rivas-Rodriguez says the world has lost a special person.
“We always asked them at the very end, ‘What advice would you have for young people?’ She says, ‘Go to school, and just work hard at that. Then, I feel you can be anybody you want to be,'” Rivas-Rodriguez said.
During her final days, Esquivel was doing what she loved: honoring those who served our country. To Rivas-Rodriguez, her dear friend was a hero.
“She touched so many lives; she touched so many lives.”
While Esquivel is no longer here, her love and loyalty to her family and country lives on.