EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The two-year anniversary of the Aug. 3, 2019, Walmart mass shooting that took 23 lives is now just one day away.
To commemorate those who were killed that day, Jefferson High School students from multiple athletic programs and the student council teamed with faculty, staff and alumni on Friday to plant 23 trees in honor of the victims lost that fateful day.
“I think this is important that we don’t lose sight of what’s going on in the world and a great tribute to those died that day,” said Jefferson football coach Tony Martinez.
In the days following the Aug. 3 shooting, it was all hands on deck across El Paso; it was much the same at Jefferson on Friday.
Jefferson received donated funds from alumni groups to buy and plant 23 trees in the area south of the football field on campus. 22 of the trees are identical; the one that is different is there to honor Arturo Benavides, a 1978 graduate of Jefferson who was killed in the shooting.
“It feels good helping the community and not only honoring them but bonding as a team,” said football player Ruben Martinez. “It’s not all about football but also to remember the lives that were lost.”
The El Paso Strong mantra has lived on in the hearts of all who reside in the Sun City the last two years. It’s become almost a way of life and it was again on display at Jefferson.
“It’s important that we never forget what happened and what caused it,” said David Carr, president of the HR Moye Foundation and a Jefferson alum. “Now that it happened, that we remember that things like this can happen and that we avoid it ever happening again.”