Carpenters in Sicily craft crosses to highlight ongoing migrant crisis

Jan 19, 2019 363

BY: Stefania D'Ignoti

Francesco Tuccio, a carpenter on this island of less than 8 square miles halfway between Sicily and Tunisia, remembers the day in April of 2009 when his life took on a new purpose. Shipwrecks and migrant landings on the coast had already become a daily routine on Lampedusa, which is located in the Mediterranean Sea. That morning, Tuccio decided to close his shop and joined a few dozen volunteers working to recover the bodies of drowned migrants who had washed ashore.
"I remember two boats attempted to enter the port that day: One made it, the other sank. More than 100 people, mostly from Somalia and Eritrea, lost their lives," Tuccio said, his voice breaking with emotion. "What struck me the most was returning home and hearing no news reports even just mentioning the tragedy."

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