Bowie students help distribute luminarias for August 3 remembrance events

El Pasoans this weekend will mark the somber one-year anniversary of the Aug. 3 attack on our city by lighting traditional luminarias that were – at least in part – distributed by Bowie High School volunteers at Guillen.

The luminarias will stand in honor of the 23 people who died and the dozens who were injured by a gunman at the Cielo Vista Walmart on that day. The race-related shooting shook El Paso and the country and brought attention to issues of diversity in the United States.

“When I think of luminarias I think about El Paso,” said Jesus Ramirez of the Family Resilience Center, which provided the luminaria kits that Bowie cheerleaders and student-council members helped distribute during the Guillen mobile food pantry this week. “Growing up we were big on white candles – the church and healing process that comes with it. I feel it brings you hope more than anything.”

Participants are asked to light the luminarias starting at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1, and Sunday, Aug. 2, for a virtual day of remembrance.

Now, with the help of and during the Hundreds of families lined up at the Guillen Middle mobile food distribution Tuesday collecting more than just milk and other necessities. This time, volunteers offered a luminaria kit to light this Sunday and Monday, offering hope and remembrance for the anniversary of the Aug. 3 shooting victims.

The El Paso United Family Resilience Center partnered with the County of El Paso, City of El Paso and other entities to remember the victims lost in the Walmart shooting through different events and activities. The luminaria remembrance includes a simultaneous drive-thru display at Ascarate Park as well as the at-home lighting remembrances.

The Bowie volunteers said they were more than happy to help distribute the luminarias.

“We’re here to show we care about our community and we are willing to do whatever it takes to help,” said Bowie StuCo president Cynthia Tarin. “I think the luminarias show we are respecting the victims and we will keep remembering them.”

For more information on the luminaria remembrance, click here.

Story by Gustavo Reveles  |  Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD
**For the record: A previous version of this story had incorrect dates, they have been corrected.