One stem at a time, Douglas Berdeaux carefully created a floral frame of red roses and yellow tulips on the chain-link fence surrounding the smiling portrait of Elaine Sabino, his missing sister-in-law.
Sabino, a JetBlue flight attendant who loved to travel and meet new people, remains unaccounted for since the Champlain Towers South condominium building unexpectedly collapsed before dawn June 24. She lived on the 12th floor.
“She was a very loving person. Very vivacious. She had a bigger-than-life personality,” said Daytona Beach resident Linda Howard, Sabino’s sister, as she struggled to fight back tears near the portrait. Her brother, John, stood at her side.
Sabino, 70, is one of dozens of victims and missing persons displayed on the makeshift Surfside Wall of Hope & Memorial, which serves as a somber magnet for mourners as the small barrier-island community comes to grips with the disaster.
The wall stands in the shadow of the fallen south condo site
The ever-growing memorial wall extends along the western fence of the town of Surfside’s tennis center at Harding Avenue and 88th Street. Hundreds of flower bouquets, stuffed animals, candles, handmade posters, religious messages and flags adorn the site.
“I do hope it becomes permanent. I think it’s a beautiful expression…