No parent should have to suffer the grief of burying their child, let alone endure the burden of the unexpected death of their loved one. But on August 1, 2017, Ms. Orozco suffered tragic news of her beloved son's death at the tender age of 23. His name was Angel.
Angel Murillo encompassed virtues that rarely can be found in any man, let alone a man so young as him, and he was cherished by his community because of this.
Unlike those who merely profess to be advocates for humanity, Angel proved his sincerity as he dedicated his lifeblood for the cause of humanity, for this was his true passion.
Angel was dedicated to community service and was subsequently involved in countless endeavors for the benefit of others--ranging from civil and human rights to sustainable environmental, economic, urban, and agrarian development. In fact, he was on a path to help resolve some of the country's most pressing issues through politics, one community at a time.
Angel was no stranger to success. His ambition led him to serve as a finalist in a competitive speech contest honoring Black History at his college, where he passionately paid tribute to Malcolm X in 2013. Angel went on to help combat hunger where he began serving the homeless and the impoverished within his community. He once gave a passionate speech following his service where he declared, "We will either win as a team or die as individuals. Today we are facing an environmental crisis....Although we aren't perfect, history shows us that we continuously progress to change humanity towards progression, and that's all that matters. We only have one planet, and with enough resources to go around, yet we continuously let others struggle. Today we stand as soldiers of hope. Together we will address issues one at a time, and with time and dedication we will resolve all issues."
His passion for sustainable development led him to meet with experts in the field, such as Annie Leonard, author of The Story of Stuff. Angel was resolute on combating California's water crisis in a sustainable manner and even met with the San Gabriel's Water district leader, Thomas Wong, in 2013 to discuss effective means of addressing the issue before it became a crisis.
Angel was a regular blood donor who always pleaded with his community to give to those in need. He consistently championed other human rights causes spanning from immigration reform, prison reform, police reform, and ending rape on college and university campuses. Angel was so loved by his community that artists painted a mural in his honor. Angel was also awarded a Presidential medal of honor by the current President of the United States which symbolizes his tireless efforts to community service.
Despite his time-consuming endeavors, Angel never ceased to serve his own family. His mother was the light that ignited his passions and his drive to transform his hopes for mankind into reality. Angel once boasted his love for his mother as he declared, "Gave my mom money to do her nails, hair, and everything. Then gave her money for the new stove and fridge and now cleaning the entire house and her room. Happy Mexican Mother's Day [Mom]."
Death could never extinguish the legacy left behind by this beautiful, compassionate soul. It is our hope that the burden of Ms. Orozco's suffering be eased by the grace of humanity, just as humanity was eased by the grace of our Angel. Angel always said #TogetherWeCanChangetheWorld, and together we will.
Please donate to help his family with costs associated with funeral services.
*All photographs and names portrayed in this tribute were taken with the consent of Ms. Orozco, Ms. Leonard, and Mr. Wong.
*The organizer of this fundraiser will promptly send all funds donated to the mother of Angel Murillo.