EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — On the two-year anniversary of the Aug. 3 mass shooting that killed 23, a memorial was held at Ponder Park, located just north of the Cielo Vista Walmart where the shooting occurred.
The memorial began with crosses being carried through the park with the names of the 23 victims who lost their lives.
Those crosses are set on stands with flowers, candles and balloons in front.
Pastor Michael E. Grady, whose daughter was shot at the store on Aug. 3, started the memorial out with a prayer.
Victims’ family members also stopping buy including the sisters of Jordan Anchondo. Jordan was shot and killed alongside her husband Andre during the Cielo Vista Walmart shooting as they shielded their young baby.
“Coming here today I think it was a lot of emotions because last year we weren’t able to do anything like this because of covid now since a little more time has passed and there’s some social distancing we were able to come and see what the community has put together,” said Leta Cuellar, Jordans younger sister.
Jordans sisters could be seen laying photos of the late couple’s children in front of their crosses. One of the photos showing Sky and baby Paul at their parent’s gravesite.
“It brings a sense of joy bringing the pictures here putting it down because I know if they were to see these pictures it would make them smile, just like it makes us smile,” said Cuellar.
Also at the memorial was a man who was inside the Cielo Vista Walmart as shots rang out two years ago.
“I happened to be in the back of the store, I heard a loud noise and it didn’t sound like gunshots but a lot of people started running to the back where I was,” said Guillermo Glenn. “I helped her get to the front and that’s where I really saw what happened right there at the front door.”
The memorial, which was hosted by the Border Network for Human Rights. Speakers included Bishop Mark J. Seitz, U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Everytown for Gun Safety, multiple elected officials and people who were in Walmart that day.
“August 3 absolutely needs to be a time of celebrating the lives of 23 innocent beautiful souls. wrapping our arms around their families and all the survivors. Uplifting one another with love and care and compassion, making sure that we’re taking care of one another and checking in on one another. But it also has to be a day where we are committed to justice and were recommitted to combating hate,” said Congresswoman Escobar.