Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, took a trip to Uvalde, Texas, two days after an elementary school shooting there took the lives of 19 children and two teachers.
Markle, who lives in California with her husband, Prince Harry, and their two children, paid her respects to the victims and their families by placing white flowers with a purple ribbon at a memorial at the Uvalde County Courthouse. According to People, she also walked around the memorial and hung her head at the cross for 10-year-old victim Uziyah Garcia.
Dressed casually in jeans, sneakers and a baseball cap, a spokesperson for the duchess told ABC News that she took the announced trip in a personal capacity as a mother to offer condolences and support to the community.
Texas television station KXAN reports that other memorials are also set up, including crosses for each victim at Robb Elementary School, where the shooting happened, and another outside the Texas Governor’s Mansion in Austin.
According to BuzzFeed, the American member of Britain’s royal family brought food and drinks for volunteers and blood donors at a local community center. Several of the volunteers there told the website they had no idea she was a celebrity and recounted having a great conversation with Markle as she visited.
Markle is just one of several celebrities showing their support for the local community or speaking out against gun violence in the wake of the tragedy, including actor Matthew McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde.
“Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us,” McConaughey posted to Twitter. “The true call to action now is for every American to take a longer and deeper look in the mirror, and ask ourselves, ‘What is it that we truly value? How do we repair the problem? What small sacrifices can we individually take today, to preserve a healthier and safer nation, state and neighborhood tomorrow?’ We cannot exhale once again, make excuses, and accept these tragic realities as the status quo.”
Uvalde, Texas, USA. pic.twitter.com/0iULRGtREm
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) May 25, 2022
U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman published new poetry in a series of tweets to express her grief and anger in the hours after the shooting.
“Schools scared to death. / The truth is, one education under desks, / Stooped low from bullets;” Gorman wrote.
Schools scared to death.
The truth is, one education under desks,
Stooped low from bullets;
That plunge when we ask
Where our children
— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) May 24, 2022
Gorman continued her thoughts, tweeting, “The truth is, one nation under guns”, “It takes a monster to kill children. But to watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing isn’t just insanity — it’s inhumanity,” and “What might we be if only we tried. / What might we become if only we’d listen.”
If you’re wondering what you can do for the Uvalde community and the victims of the shooting, here are some ways you can help.