EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso County leaders approved a resolution to designate the El Paso County Community Healing Garden in honor of the August 3rd victims as a National Memorial.
The move comes one week before the first anniversary of the Cielo Vista Walmart mass shooting.
Construction will soon start at Ascarate Park for the Community Healing Garden. Elected officials are now working to make sure the garden will be officially commemorated on a national level.
“Although this was a tragedy that centered in and on El Paso, in my view this is a national tragedy. In order for their to be national recognition of the lives lost and the impact that it had on us, I believe that we need to have a national memorial,” Congresswoman Veronica Escobar told KTSM.
Escobar sent a letter to the El Paso County Judge and Commissioner’s Court on Friday which requested a resolution to be filed to designate the Healing Garden as a National Memorial. This is in efforts to signify dignity for the victims and illuminate the El Paso community’s resiliency.
“I know that the 23 that died would love that something great would happen. I don’t think it should be at a local level, or regional level, or a national level but at a world level that shows how a community can come together and come out even better,” El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said.
On Monday, El Paso County Commissioner’s court adopted the resolution of Escobar’s request, just one week ahead of the first August 3rd anniversary.
“We wanted to get it done as close to the one year marking as close to August 3rd as possible in order to raise awareness of the loss and impact on El Paso and El Pasoans,” Escobar said.
Samaniego said despite the obstacles El Paso has faced this past year, the community will not be defined by them.
“Just like we weren’t identified by that shooter, we’re not going to be identified by COVID. One comes in with a weapon, another one is a virus but they’re an attack on our community and we’ll respond accordingly,” Samaniego shared.
Escobar told KTSM she’s working on finalizing the bill, and will introduce it this Friday to the House of Representatives.