LIZANDRA PORTAL: Miami Marlins fans paid respects to their beloved opening pitcher, Jose Fernandez, at the public mass that was held at St. Brendan Catholic Church in Westchester. Fernandez’s story was an example of the American Dream come true for many of his Cuban American fans. To them, he was a son, a brother, a cousin. He was family.
JOSEFINA MARTINEZ: He set an example of what, you know, the Cuban American can do in this country. You know, they look for their freedom and they can realize their dreams.
OSMIRO IZQUIERDO, JR: It’s the personage of something that my parents escaped years ago. This individual was able to reach his goal by becoming an American citizen after everything he went through. And it’s an example of someone in this community, who has made it. So it’s just an example of a success story of my heritage.
PORTAL: The thoughts and words of Josefina Martinez and Osmiro Izquierdo, Jr. This is Lizandra Portal reporting for the South Florida News Service from St. Brendan Catholic Church in Westchester.