Victims’ families gather on eve of anniversary of mass shooting

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Sunday, the victims’ families were the first to see the memorial in Ascarate Park to honor those lost Aug. 3, 2019.

The floral sculptures of each loved one lost were placed in Ascarate as families gathered to shed tears and reflect. Mayor Dee Margo reiterated that El Paso will not let fear define us.

“Few would think that any good could ever come out of losing so many beautiful souls,” El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said. “I am so thankful that we did allow this shooter to define who we were.”

Just one day before the anniversary of the shooting, community members came together to build a memorial.

Samaniego said the first anniversary is just a foundation for what’s to come.

The pandemic kept El Paso from gathering on the first anniversary of the deadly racist attack on our citizens.

“I know because of COVID there would be a lot of people watching and viewing and being ready. not only that we talk about and cherish and try to help you through it,” Samaniego said. “But that we create policies and strategy’s that help us to move forward so that this incident will never take place again.”

Shooting victims and their families were handed roses, as tears were seen streaming down their faces. Sunday was a day of healing and reflections of what’s been learned over the last 365 days.

“On August 3, 2019, we learned that love is stronger than hate, we learned to embrace each other not fear our differences we learned that if one heart aches, our entire community grieves,” said District Attorney Jaime Esparza. “We learned that those we just met would treat one another as family.”

Unfortunately, the wind picked up later in the evening, putting a damper on the display of over 10,000 luminarias lining the drives at Ascarate Park. El Pasoans will have another chance to see the displays Monday from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

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