Makeshift Walmart memorial site cleared and relocated

El Paso Strong

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A makeshift memorial honoring victims of the Aug. 3 mass at an El Paso Walmart was moved to a new location just a few blocks away.

Crews on Tuesday cleared the memorial site and moved many of the flowers, paintings, posters and other items to Ponder Park, which was also the site of a community vigil just days after the shooting.

Qualified city staff will examine the items left by well-wishers to archive the pieces, said Ben Fyffe, assistant director of the City of El Paso’s Museum and Cultural Affairs Department.

“We feel a tremendous amount of responsibility to be able to archive these items so we could preserve those items of that day,” Fyffe said.

Fyffe said it is likely the items will be archived in the El Paso Museum of History.

Several El Pasoans with whom KTSM spoke agreed with preserving the memorial items.

“I think that would be great I mean kids that might’ve been here when they were little once they grow they can remember and say I was there,” Billy Oliver said.

Others reflected on the memorial items helping the community cope with the tragedy, and bringing unity.

“A lot of people put in time and effort into doing that I know a lot of people have visited from out of town from very far to bring that,” Corina Ruiz said.

Families of the victims had private time Sunday morning to view the memorial and take items they wanted before the City removed them from the Walmart site.

In the meantime, as KTSM reported, Walmart released its plan to create a permanent memorial and plaza at the Cielo Vista Walmart featuring a 30-foot “Grand Candela” fixture.

Walmart is set to reopen to the public on Thursday just a little more than three months after the tragedy.

“It’s going to be very emotional, everybody had ties to somebody that was there or just visiting,” Ruiz said.

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