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Home | Tag Archives: el paso walmart shooting

Tag Archives: el paso walmart shooting

After losing his wife in a mass shooting, he invited El Pasoans to her funeral. Hundreds showed up.

After a gunman took the life of Margie Reckard in a mass shooting at a Walmart store two weeks ago, her husband Antonio Basco didn’t have any other family in this town. So he invited all El Pasoans to celebrate “the love of his life” at her funeral Friday.

Their response overwhelmed him.

Hundreds of people began lining up outside La Paz Faith Memorial and Spiritual Center in Central El Paso at about 5 p.m. The line of supporters eventually spanned several blocks and grew to nearly 1,000. A group of motorcyclists that included several veterans stood at attention while holding American flags. Later, neighbors set up a buffet line for supporters who were still in line as the afternoon turned to evening.

Basco thanked the people there for the support. A thin, 61-year old man who walks with the help of a cane, he greeted hundreds of supporters inside the church, where mariachis serenaded parishioners before an hour-long prayer service delivered by Bishop Harrison Johnson. But the El Pasoans who lined up to offer their condolences said they also owed Basco for offering them a chance to come together and try to heal as a community.

Dean Eckard, Reckard’s son who came to El Paso from Omaha for the services, described her as a gentle soul who “had it tough” growing up.

“But when she met Tony though, she seemed really happy and in love,” he said. Eckard added that his mother was battling Parkinson’s disease when she died. “For Tony to stick by her through those years … I can’t thank you enough.”

Earlier this week Basco told CNN that he takes fresh flowers to a vigil at the Walmart everyday. In a video posted by the news outlet, Basco could be seen speaking to his wife at the site of a white cross that bears her name.

“There’s going to be a lot of people. I told you you were important,” he said before the funeral. “So what you been up to? What are you going to do up there? I wish you could tell me something.”

The attack on Aug. 3 killed 22 people and is being investigated as a hate crime. Authorities believe the gunman posted an online manifesto railing against the “invasion” of Texas by immigrants and Mexicans. Friday’s funeral was one of the final services for the victims of the massacre, which included eight Mexican citizens. The attack has thrust the issue of gun control back into the spotlight; Gov. Greg Abbott has announced the creation of a domestic terrorism task force.

State Rep. Joe Moody, an El Paso Democrat, said the display was a physical manifestation of the city still trying to make sense of the tragedy.

Antonio Basco was overwhelmed with the support of the El Paso community at his wife Margie Reckard’s funeral at La Paz Faith Center in El Paso, Texas Friday, August, 16, 2019. Without much family and friends in town, Basco invited the public to his wife’s funeral and El Paso showed up in droves. His wife was one of the 22 killed in the Walmart mass shooting on August 3, 2019. Mark Lambie /USA TODAY NETWORK

“This is a very real way for everyone to openly grieve and go through that process. When you lose someone in your personal life, this is a part of that process you go through,” he said. “I think our community lost something and this is our community grieving together.”

Politics wasn’t a major theme Friday night. But Salvador Perches, owner of Perches Funeral Homes who coordinated the service, announced he ordered 22 hearses to deliver the hundreds of floral arrangements donated for the funeral to the Walmart parking lot to honor the victims.

He also hopes to make a point.

“We’re going to make a statement to the world,” he said. “That something is wrong, and something needs to change.”

Disclosure: Walmart has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

Author:  JULIÁN AGUILARThe Texas Tribune

More than 20 people were killed in an Aug. 3, 2019, shooting rampage at a Walmart in El Paso. The gunman was arrested and charged with capital murder for the shooting in El Paso, which is recoveringfrom what federal law enforcement has classified as an act of domestic terrorism.

MORE IN THIS SERIES 

Tenet Healthcare Foundation exceeds fundraising goal, Donates $350k to Victims’ Fund

Earlier this week, Tenet Healthcare Corporation presented a $350,000 donation to the El Paso Community Foundation to support victims and families affected by the tragic events on August 3.

“The El Paso Community is inspired by the outpouring of compassion shown by Tenet and the Hospitals of Providence,” said Eric Pearson, president of the El Paso Community Foundation. “This is a bittersweet embrace of our community, coming together in the wake of this tragedy.”

The gift was made by the Tenet Healthcare Foundation and will go directly to the El Paso Community Foundation’s Shooting Victims’ Relief Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Mr. Rittenmeyer said, “We have provided care to the El Paso Community for over 40 years. The response from our Tenet employees around the country as well as our business partners to support victims and their families in El Paso was immediate and heartwarming. I am extremely proud of our Tenet Family for their generosity and kindness to a community still suffering greatly from a truly senseless act.”

As previously announced, The Tenet Healthcare Foundation pledged to contribute $100,000 to the El Paso Community Foundation and provide an additional match for the first $50,000 in donations.

Through the generosity of employees and business partners, the final contribution of $350,000 far exceeded that initial commitment.

On Monday, Aug, 12, Tenet Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ron Rittenmeyer, along with colleagues from Tenet and The Hospitals of Providence, participated in a ceremony in El Paso to honor the community and those who lost their lives during the tragedy.

At the ceremony, which was held at The Hospitals of Providence East Campus and attended by caregivers and first responders, Mr. Rittenmeyer presented the donation to the El Paso Community Foundation.

With 5,300 team members in El Paso, Tenet is the city’s second-largest private employer. The company operates four acute care hospitals under The Hospitals of Providence brand and more than 50 outpatient centers, physician clinics and other care facilities throughout the area.

Khalid’s benefit concert for El Paso set, Tickets go on sale Wednesday morning

Tuesday morning, El Paso’s own global superstar Khalid formally announced that on September 1st he will headline a benefit concert along with special guests at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso.

The concert is in support of Khalid’s hometown and in response to the tragic mass shooting on August 3.

“I have been rocked to the core by the horrific act of gun violence that came to El Paso, and by the continued acts of senseless violence that our country faces daily,” Khalid shares. “I want to give back to my community of El Paso, the city of the 915, who has given so much to me. Please come out and let’s heal together through music while raising money to help those who need it.

Khalid will be raising funds through this concert to support the El Paso Shooting Victims’ Fund and the El Paso Community Foundation.

Dr. Heather Wilson, The University of Texas at El Paso Incoming President adds, “Khalid’s generous offer to put on a benefit concert is a touching example of the spirit of caring and kindness that typifies El Paso.  We will come together to help and to heal.  I invite you to join us at the concert to honor and support the victims and their families.”

In addition to attending the concert, donations for this cause can only be made directly through www.thegreatkhalidfoundation.org or by purchasing one of the commemorative shirts.

Tickets for the concert will go on sale Wednesday, August 14th at 10am local time at LiveNation.com. This event is presented by The Great Khalid Foundation and manager Courtney Stewart’s Right Hand Foundation, and produced by Live Nation.

Paso del Norte Community Foundation, El Paso Community Foundation announce victims fund coordination

On Monday, officials with the two largest shooting victims funds announced that Stephanie Karr has been appointed to assist in distributing funds raised for victims of the August 3, 2019 shooting.

The Paso del Norte Community Foundation and the El Paso Community Foundation jointly appointed Ms. Karr to coordinate disbursement of victim relief funds which have been donated to both foundations.

Ms. Karr, who recently retired from the El Paso Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, is a veteran non-profit leader, with experience serving people who have survived traumatic incidents.

“I am honored to work with these two foundations who are leading relief funds collection. We want to assure our families that we will work diligently and fairly for them to receive the help they need,” said Ms. Karr.

“Stephanie’s experience and knowledge will help us coordinate our mutual efforts,” said Eric Pearson, President and CEO of the El Paso Community Foundation. “We are proud of how our community and our country have come together during this dark period.”

“El Pasoans’ generosity continues to be an inspiration to all of us,” said Tracy Yellen, CEO of the Paso del Norte Foundation. “Our collaboration to serve victims and their families is of utmost importance.”

A local task force will guide local efforts for distribution.  Additionally, the National Compassion Fund, a nonprofit organization who has worked with other communities who have experienced mass shootings, will provide assistance.

“We are ensuring that we have a fair, transparent and equitable system in place that will provide maximum relief to families.”, said Ms. Karr.  Both foundations have waived administrative and credit card fees for donations received.  Local groups who have raised funds may coordinate the distribution of those funds through this joint effort.

The Family Assistance Center has been set up at the Judson Williams Convention Center to provide coordinated services to families. Several local, state and federal agencies, as well as non-profit service providers, are present to provide help to families. Also, families can contact the District Attorney Victim Assistance Services office at (915) 546-2091.

Donations can be made to the El Paso Community Foundation or the Paso del Norte Community Foundation.

UMC, EPCH update on patients from August 3rd shooting

Monday morning, University Medical Center of El Paso and El Paso Children’s Hospital officials provided an update on the patients treated at each hospital as a result of the mass casualty shooting at an El Paso Walmart on Aug. 3.

The following is an update regarding the 15 patients brought to University Medical Center of El Paso as a result of the mass casualty shooting. Currently, there are seven patients at UMC as a result of the shooting:

 2 children were transferred from University Medical Center to El Paso Children’s Hospital on Aug. 3 with non-life threatening injuries and discharged by El Paso Children’s Hospital Aug. 4

 5 adult patients have been discharged from University Medical Center

 1 adult patient was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at University Medical Center on Aug. 3

 2 adult patients remain in critical condition and are receiving treatment in University Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit

 5 adult patients are in stable but serious condition at University Medical Center

Another update will be provided as appropriate or when there is a significant change in status of these patients.

UPDATES 8/9: Alamo Drafthouse announces donation; PdNCF Victims Fund at $1.8m

This story will serve as an update for the events, comments and other information that comes into our newsroom on Friday.

8/9 10 p.m. Update

Alamo Donates Proceeds from ANY Movie on Weds or Thurs to El PasoVictims Relief Fund

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Montecillo and all of the employees of Triple Tap Ventures were deeply saddened by the events, which occurred in El Paso on Saturday. The tragedy has affected an outpouring of sadness, caring and support for victims of this senseless act and their families.

For anyone who is still looking for ways to help, Alamo Drafthouse is assisting in raising funds for the Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s Victims Relief Fund.

Moviegoers in El Paso may choose a ticket price of $5, $7 or $10 to any movie being screened on Wednesday, August 14, and Thursday, August 15, 2019 at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Montecillo.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Montecillo will donate 100 percent of ticket sale proceeds from those two days to the Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s Victims Relief Fund.

Purchase tickets: drafthouse.com/el-paso or on the Alamo Drafthouse app.

In addition, now through August 25, guests at all Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations across Texas can choose to make $1, $3, or $5 contributions via a donation add-on feature every time they purchase tickets via drafthouse.com or the Alamo Drafthouse app.

All statewide donations will go to the Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s Victims Relief Fund, which is partnered directly with the City of El Paso.

Alamo Drafthouse stands with our neighbors in the El Paso community in support of the victims and their families during this extremely difficult time.

#ElPasoStrong

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8/9  5 p.m. Update

Officials with Paso del Norte Community Foundation provide update on Victims’ Fund

Via a Friday afternoon news release, officials with the Paso del Norte Community Foundation shared that donations to their El Paso Victims Relief Fund pushed the total to nearly $2m dollars, with more donations expected.

The outpouring of support has been extraordinary with more than $1.8 million in donations of gifts large and small received to date from more than 3,400 donors, with additional contributions expected over the coming days and weeks.

To contribute to the fund, click here.

***

$100,000 Donation by Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino

Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino is donating $100,000 to be distributed between the El Paso Community Foundation’s El Paso Shooting Victims’ Fund and the Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s El Paso Victims Relief Fund. The gift is intended to support the many victims of the mass shooting which recently shook the US-Mexico border region which includes the city of El Paso as well as the surrounding counties in southern New Mexico. Sunland Park, New Mexico borders the city of El Paso, Texas.

“As a part of the greater El Paso area, we feel very connected to this close-knit community,” said Ethan Linder, director of marketing for Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino. “Many of our employees and most of our visitors live in El Paso, so we’ve all really been impacted by this terrible tragedy. That’s why we didn’t think twice about making this donation that will go to help our friends and neighbors.”

Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino is also encouraging others to donate as well. “If you’re able, we invite everyone to make a donation, no matter the amount, every little bit helps,” said Linder. “This is a time for everyone in our area to come together and support one another.”

Linder added that in the coming days and weeks, Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino will be announcing plans for a benefit event to help raise additional funds to assist those affected by the shooting which took place in El Paso on Saturday, August 3.

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Brave Books organizes our “Frontera Rising Youth Writing Invitational”

Our locally-owned indy bookstore Brave Books is in the process of undertaking a mammoth project reaching out to El Paso’s youth in an effort to bring healing to El Pasoans and Juárenses though the process of writing, reading and sharing.

Ron Charles, who writes about books and publishing for the Washington Post (content re-posted below – courtesy Washington Post Book Club) reached out to us on Wednesday asking if our bookstore had any events or projects scheduled in light of our tragedy last Saturday.

Brave Books opened in El Paso, just five months ago. Now, as the city tries to recover from the mass shooting on Aug. 3 that killed 22 people and wounded dozens more, that name seems especially inspired.

Graphic designer Jud Burgess and his wife, Laurie, started Brave Books to help enrich one of America’s least literate cities.

“We wanted to make a difference,” Jud tells me, “one person at a time.” This week, that meant simply being present. “People were coming and just relaxing,” he says. “I think people just needed to come somewhere where they felt safe and peaceful. It’s almost like comfort food, but it’s more like ‘comfort reading,’ I guess. They came by and just hung around. It was really nice, you know, to have a little community.”

Moving forward, Jud and Laurie are planning a community project called the Frontera Rising Youth Writing Invitational. (“Frontera” is Spanish for “border.”) Middle and high school students in El Paso and its sister city, Juarez, Mexico, will be invited to submit short statements — in English or Spanish — about how they’re feeling.

All the statements will appear on the store’s website, and some of the writers will be invited to read in the store.

“Our goal is to engage our youth on both sides of the border to participate in writing that contributes to their personal growth and healing in light of our tragedy,” Jud says. “Their words, whether positive or negative, as long as they are honest, will reflect to all of us what has gone down in the history of our city.”

Brave Books  |   915.204.7074   |   1307 Arizona, El Paso, TX 79902

Hours:  Wednesday through Saturday noon – 7 p.m.   |   Sundays  noon – 5 p.m.

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Tenet Healthcare Foundation to Present $100k to El Paso Shooting Victim’s Relief Fund

To support the El Paso community, the parent company of The Hospitals of Providence will formally present a $100,000 contribution to the El Paso Shooting Victims’ Relief Fund on Monday, Aug. 12.

In addition to the $100,000 donation from the Tenet Healthcare Foundation to the El Paso Community Foundation, a donation fund for its employees across the country has been established and will match employee contributions up to $50,000. The dollar figure raised so far by hospital employees will also be announced at the news conference.

During the presentation, Ron Rittenmeyer, executive chairman and CEO for Tenet Healthcare, will offer words of gratitude and encouragement to physicians, first responders and hospital providers.

8/9  A.M. Update

Proper Printshop donates $50k earned from sales of memorial shirts to Victims’ Fund

Selling the now-iconic El Paso Strong tee shirts, with the star on the mountain across the front, Proper Print Shop announced they had made the first donation to the El Paso Community Foundation.

Via a Facebook post,  officials shared the good news with a picture of the check.

Thank you El Paso! We made our first donation today to the El Paso Community Foundation Victims Fund.

$50,000

We are honored that you have trusted us to help the community share it’s true voice. It’s been an extremely busy week and we will continue working as long as we need to to catch up with all of the demand from the community.

Thank you @viva.la.mocha and @emedesignstudio for your vision and talents.

Thank you @elpasocf for your leadership.

 

***

Teacher’s Federal Credit Union announces charity account,will match first $25k

Via an email to members, officials with Teacher’s Federal Credit Union announced their plans for donation to the growing victims’ fund.

Together we can support our community. TFCU will match the first $25,000 donated to the TFCU charity account, where 100% of the proceeds will benefit the El Paso Shooting Victims Fund.

Members of the community can donate at any TFCU branch now through August 31. 

We are all #ElPasoStrong.

***

Haircuts for Donations

This Sunday 8/11 from 11am-5pm at Blessed Barber Studio East El Paso,

We will be cutting hair for Donations and 100% proceeds will be donated to the affected families of the tragedy that occurred 8/03 in El Paso.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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915 United to hold benefit cruise Friday evening

Event is scheduled to star at 7:30 in the parking lot of FourWheel Parts (11751 Gateway West Blvd)  all information is below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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$30k Donated by Austin Software Co. for Shooting Victims

Platinum Software Labs (PSL) is donating $30,000 to Paso Del Norte Community Foundation to support the victims of the El Paso Walmart mass shooting that occurred on Saturday August 3, 2019.

El Paso is one of three cities in Texas that our engineers and executives call home and have been deeply affected by this heinous event that struck our community and nation.

“We are deeply saddened by the horrific events that occurred this past Saturday in both the Dayton, Ohio and El Paso communities,” said Platinum Software Labs board of directors. “Not only did this event strike the hearts of our communities and nation, but the hearts of us at Platinum Software Labs. We will do our part to ensure that we all heal from this despicable act against humanity. During this tragic time, we will work with the El Paso community leaders and partners to identify opportunities to support the victims of this senseless act of violence.”

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COMMENTS / EMAILS from around the world supporting El Paso.

via email from John C. in San Antonio

A Reflection on El Paso

The devastation in El Paso, one in a continuing string of such sick events over many years, prompts this reflection.
I submit that these events have hundreds of causes, but there are (8) root causes which have eased into our culture in the past couple of decades making our society one of the most violent in the world.  This is primarily a self-inflicted complex cultural problem where we must avoid the thoughtless tendency of many to cast blame in only one or two directions.  That is not helpful.
Let us be honest and face the uncomfortable, unvarnished truth.

I’ll begin with the most fundamental root cause.  We have drifted from our faiths and relationship with God.  God has been taken out of our schools and much of the public arena. Many of us have deserted Him.  There is an outright hostility to God from certain quarters.  Church attendance is down.  The secularization of America is in full swing.

Cause #2:  We do not uniformly respect life.  The most recent data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows that 53,481 abortions were performed in Texas in 2016.  We blithely tolerate these killings because we rationalize them as “choice” and they are not as feverishly reported as the El Paso shootings were reported because the law facilitates them.  How can Americans be so impervious to all that killing of unborn persons yet so sensitive to the killing of 22 born persons?  The hypocrisy, the double-standard, is extraordinary.

Cause #3:  America, like every country in the world, has its fair share of people with emotional, psychological, and mental disabilities or afflictions who can be, and often are, highly susceptible to the constant stream of violent messaging.  We can only guess at the anger and frustrations many keep bottled in.  Many lack care, medication, and or counseling. And to make the situation worse, family and or friends who know of these disadvantaged folks sometimes do not reach for help for reasons of fear, ignorance, embarrassment, or rationalized tolerance.  Mental healthcare must become a higher priority.

Cause #4:  The family, as the core institution of our society, is in decline.  According to Pew Research the share of U.S. children living with an unmarried parent has more than doubled since 1968, jumping from 13% to 32% in 2017. That trend has been accompanied by a drop in the share of children living with two married parents, down from 85% in 1968 to 65%. The rise in U.S. children living with either cohabiting or solo parents is due in part to long-term declines in marriage, as well as increases in births outside of marriage.  Single motherhood has grown so common in America that today 80 percent of single-parent families are headed by single mothers — nearly a third of those live in poverty.  Fatherhood is under attack.

Cause #5:  W e have come to revel in violent entertainment.  You have seen the movies, TV programs, videos, games, action figures, and the toys.  The more blasting, blowing up, bombs, fireballs, explosions, stuff flying through the air, and blood the better.  Mayhem sells.  If we, the market, buy these products someone will continue making them.  What are you buying for your children, and what are you letting them buy?  What are you, the business owner, putting on your shelves?

Cause #6:  We have quite a sophisticated array of available weaponry, amply demonstrated via our entertainment choices.  I am a big supporter of the 2nd Amendment, A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  I am also an NRA member—but, understanding the gravity of the other seven causes, management of the access to arms is overdue and needs work.  As a Vietnam combat veteran I’m quite familiar with assault weapons.  They have no place in the general population.

Cause #7: Terrorism has been a fact of life for decades.  Acts of terror come into our living rooms, our Smartphone, and over the Internet in great detail.  Horrific acts from all over the globe serve as models that can easily inspire those with grievances or those harboring perceived wrongs to do the same.  Don’t throw up your hands, because we do have the ability to deter terrorism by eliminating it at its source.  Support those initiatives.

Cause #8:  We have become a coarse society. We see it in a decline of civility.  Dispute resolution has evolved from words—to knives or guns.  Someone who now “disses” another is asking for trouble.  We see it in road rage, we hear it in increased profanity, and we experience it in rude customer service.  We now have anger management seminars as the solution of choice.

These eight causes are a toxic mix, a lethal cultural brew whose consequences should not be a surprise to anyone.  We are reaping what we have sown.
These events will continue.  We’re averaging about five such events a year.  Expect more.  Don’t expect solutions from government.  Culture change is a bottoms-up driven phenomena, not top down.  The most effective healing will begin with you, the reader…parents, students, educators, municipalities, mental health providers, business owners, pastors and rabbis.  I urge you to rise to the occasion and be a culture change activist in regard to all these causes.

John C.

***

Via email from  Al C. in Florida

Enough is Enough- Do Something

There are now over 40,000 gun deaths a year in US.  Since 2010 there have been 1712 Mass Shootings with 1189 killed and 3630 wounded. Many were children. We have had mass shootings every week, sometimes several. As the new school year is about to begin,  many parents  as  part of their  children’s school supplies are buying bulletproof backpacks and active shooter drills are now part of the curriculum at most schools

It is time to end this new normal of Slaughter by Second Amendment with its images of blood flowing from bullet-riddled bodies with gaping wounds, sightless eyes of the dead, screams of the wounded and the wails of the  grieving splashed across our TV screens night after night after night. Do Something!

To all of you cowardly Lawmakers- grow a backbone, be courageous and do something about this. Sen. Mitch McConnell do your job.  Let the bipartisan bills you are holding hostage go to the Senate floor!  In response to all of current and past mass shootings, you and many of your fellow Lawmakers have only offered insincere expressions of somber statements of concern and heartfelt assurances that your thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and their communities. PR Pablum! The blood of these victims are on your hands. Do Something!

Today any crazed idiot or domestic terrorist can go into any gun shop or online or at gun shows and buy whatever weapon and as many as he wants. He can then go into any public place or school and slaughter as many people as he can until the police show up. That could be you or me. Lawmaker’s inaction at the  state and federal level is threatening everyone’s security. You have helped create the toxic society we are forced to live in that has 42% of the world’s guns, some of the weakest controls over who can buy a gun and what sorts of guns can be owned, and a president who never misses an opportunity to fan the fires of fear and hatred constantly bullying of people of color, asylum seekers, immigrants, refugees, countries and religions and has signaled to his followers that defending our country by mowing down non-whites and people who do not agree with him is patriotic. President Trump you are partially responsible what happened in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio and many other places because of your rhetoric.  Guns kill, people kill and your rhetoric President Trump kills.  I hope you are proud of what you helped create President Trump.

Acton is needed now.  What is needed is to pass common-sense gun legislation such as enhanced and comprehensive background checks including gun shows, three-day waiting period,  raising the  age of gun ownership to 21, nationwide  gun-free schools, banning assault rifles and large-capacity magazines. Additional funds to expand Mental Health Services to find, help and provide treatment so those who need so this does not happen again. Do Something!

My wish for those lawmakers that continue to support the status quo of empty words and no action,  is like  Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, may you wonder eternally through the hallways of power trying and failing to wash away the blood of the innocent on your  hands who you could have saved.  May your dreams be filled with the sounds,  images and screams of the wounded and dying people you could have save if you had acted.  Do Something!

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.

Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Dietrich Bonhoe

***

Dear President Trump:

Please accept these comments as an introduction of who we are as Mexican Americans. I can only speak for myself so I will tell you about me, but please understand that my history is the same as that of millions of others who share the appellation of “Mexican American.”

I was born in the spring of 1942, just as the first streak of light burst past the mountain ridges of central Mexico and into the valley to the west. I was born a mestizo and my birth was not only the beginning of my own personal history, but the continuation of a truly American narrative.

I am a child of the half millennium, the new race created in the New World by the mixing of the Spanish and the indigenous after the Spanish Conquest of Tenotchtitlán I came into this world as part of two people, each with a long trajectory forged by deep, fanatical, religious, political and cultural beliefs that gave birth to a new culture – one that has survived the dramatic cleavages which have characterized the development of the mestizo in the New World.

My birth and my development is a testament to the strength and vitality of this new culture, one forged by the indigenous people whose land was taken away by those who had come with the Cross and the Sword.

It is these people who have forged my destiny, one which is woven into a history that transcends two worlds, two cultures, two religions and two ways of looking at the world. It is a history that lay dormant for centuries, decimated by the European invaders, but one which has survived by the creation of a different type of historical being – the mestizo.

It is a people that have been formed over centuries and in conflict, and one which today seek its legitimate place in the historical development of this land.

When I was born, the world of the people which over two centuries had forged my history had come to an end. I came into a world that was being shaped by novel forces alien to the ones which had shaped my ancestors. My history was being shaped by Americans calling themselves capitalists; Germans calling themselves Nazis, Italians calling themselves Fascists, Russians calling themselves Communists, and Japanese calling themselves Imperialists — all deeming themselves to being children of destiny.

They believed it was they who were destined to shape the new world order and all carried within themselves social and political ideologies designed to push the world of my ancestors into historical anonymity.

My birth came at a time when history had become dysfunctional and whose events impacted the universe, giving the impression my own world no longer served as the moral compass through which my ancestors guided their lives. Yet, I consider my birth to be a resurrection of the Spanish/Mexican history which had shaped the destiny of my ancestors. I was deprived of this history by the Anglo-American conquerors which now controlled my life, and my life is proof that history cannot be departmentalized and that it must be seen in its totality and in its continuity.

I was born a product of the Aztec warriors, of the Spanish Conquistadores, and of the deities of Tlaloc, Huitzilopochtli and Quetzalcoatl, but I also am a product of the Roman Catholic Church, the European Enlightenment, of Martin Luther, of John Locke, of the French Revolution, of the Declaration of Independence, and of the Constitution of the United States.

I am the creation of the Criollo patriots who claimed Mexican independence, and the indigenous people who shed their blood and tears to build the New Spain their conquerors demanded, just as I was forged by manifest destiny, the Louisiana Purchase, and the xenophobia in the Anglo American historical narrative. I am heir to the millions of people who throughout the ages crisscrossed the Rio Grande – immigrants dealing with the life fate had bestowed upon them.

I was born in the spring of 1942 but my history began much earlier than that, and when I die my death will be the end of my personal story but my life will now attach itself to the historical continuum of my family. I believe there is a reason for each of our lives, that they are inter-connected, and that history has a purpose, otherwise each one of our lives would be without reason or rationale, an isolated, meaningless blimp in the all-encompassing transgression of time.

In my death, my history will weave itself into a part of the World Historical Spirit which Hegel, the German philosopher, says gives each one of our lives meaning and provides for the ultimate design of the world. It is a spirit that moves us to be better human beings, to be just and to be happy. I pray that my life will move history in that direction.

Again, Mr.President, this is my story, but it is also that of the millions of others who, like me, are part of the children of the half-millennium. I know that in the end the racist ideology you profess will be nothing more than a meaningless footnote in the World Historical Spirit that guides mankind in our earthly journey.

Sincerely,

Fernando Piñón Gaytán is a retired journalist and professor of political science at San Antonio College and Adjunct at UTSA; and an author of several books.

***

via Facebook from Justin N.

This has been one of the hardest week of my life. El Paso is an amazing town with great people, with most of whom racism is an non-issue and where I have made amazing friends.

Saturday was supposed to be a celebration for a great friend, which in many ways was overshadowed as others I knew may have been in Walmart and good friends were there to end the shooting as officers of the law. While at the party, I spent hours on the phone about how we respond and care for those impacted, all while worrying about what was happening a couple of miles away.

This week quickly turned from packing to move and start a new adventure to providing 70ish hours of crisis treatment to those impacted: those in the store, those who responded, and the city as a whole. For years I have researched, read, profiled, and written about shootings like this, but this is the first that has had a personal impact.

The first to make me cry, to make me question how would I explain what happened to my daughter were she older.

The heartbreaking part is El Paso is a peaceful town. Last year there were 23 murders in El Paso: yes, one more than died in the shooting, in a place with a population of close to a million people. Worse has been what I have seen since the shooting; what has begun to happen here and begun to sweep away the beauty of the people.

A shooter came from Dallas to spread evil hatred here, something relatively foreign. The immediate response was so great and so much kindness; blood banks had to ask people to make appointments, volunteers were asked to not come because there were too many, people were asked to stop bringing supplies because they had so much they couldn’t store them.

I have heard so many stories and what has begun to happen is heart breaking: hatred has begun to grow.

Whites and blacks against Mexicans who don’t speak perfect English. Hispanics spewing hate filled statements fearing the white kid will kill Mexican classmates.

This isn’t El Paso; El Paso is a city of kindness, acceptance, and safety, even poised yards from one of the deadliest cities in the world. What has changed? Fear. Fear based in the hatred of the outside world, racism, blaming, and evil. Not bred from within, but based on the ramblings of politicians who want to see this tragedy as a way to get elected.

El Pasoans are faced with fear and disbelief because the outside invaded and now they are being spurred on by the outside world in a way which didn’t happen before. What is the answer? There only exists one answer and that is solidarity.

You see El Paso is a weird place where you have hundreds of thousands of people and they are more caring and connected in most ways than the town of 2,000 I left to move here. What we need is to understand it isn’t about what started all this, it is about who this town is.

It isn’t about blaming one person, or one side, it is about viewing this as a community problem and embracing that the answer is to draw together, not divide apart. I love this town, it has felt more like home in many ways after 2 years than Kansas did after 40.

I would hate to see the act of one evil boy cause this amazing city to die. I would hate for people from other places, be it the shooter or the politicians on either side, tear apart what El Paso is.

We will heal. Yes, we, as I consider myself more an El Pasoan than a Kansan, but I hope El Paso strong means old El Paso, not just a strong city which is no longer El Paso.

To me that is the core of #ElPasoProud, that El Paso is a proud city, ignored by most of Texas, but proud of its heritage and its melting pot of culture.

I pray it stays the isolated beauty in the desert and doesn’t become like every other, with the only exception being that it is isolated in the desert.

***

via email from  John O.

I would first like to show my great respect and appreciation for the bravery, heroic actions and the remarkable job of all the first responders, doctors and all medical personnel during the heinous act that occurred in my home town, with that being said I was very disappointed with the photo ops with trump meeting with first responders with the fake hand shaking, back slapping and laughing with this person who has besmirch the Hispanic community with his vile and hateful rhetoric. These hateful racist words have caused the deaths of the innocents in your community and he was only in your city to divide you all even further and create even more pain. The photo ops of the medical and law enforcement first responders made me upset and not for any fault of their own (orders are orders) but they should have stood with the citizens who are hurting and scared, who did not want him there in your beautiful city. El Paso has always been a city that is open and accepting, but evil is evil and you cannot make this person into what he is not, kind, caring or sympathetic. This trip was just a ploy, while he was meeting with those in El Paso he was giving the order to his immigration enforcement to raid and eventually arrest 680 individuals in Louisiana, leaving hundreds of children without anyone to take care of them, this shows how he really feels about Hispanics whether migrants or U.S. citizens.  To all the great law enforcement officers and first responders of the great state and city be proud but remember you are also part of your friends, family and citizens who look up to you, please stand with them and not with that person who sees himself as president for only some of the people.

J.J. Lobos

***

via email from  Lin Frog W.

Hello El Paso,

I and so many around the country and world are grieving with you.  We wish you blessings and love in your healing.

Saturday night my heart was aching.  I am a poet, and released the thoughts in words, and wished to share them with you.  I just spoke with John, and asked him if the El Paso Herald-Post printed poetry, so I am sending this.  You are welcome to print it if you think it is  appropriate and may be healing to someone.

The following morning when I woke, I saw the headline, and thought, “9 people passed on in El Paso, not 20.” Then I read it again, and could not believe my eyes.  My heart fell again . . .  someone once again took a gun to life on Earth.  I will print the second poem under the poem composed Saturday night.  You are welcome to print the second poem also if you feel it is appropriate.

Peace, Love and many blessings to the wonder of beautiful El Paso

*

SEEKING LOVE

I heard the sound of hate, and there’s pain my heart.

AK47.

Traveled far to kill . . . At an El Paso Walmart.

. . Try to find a way to express with this pen.

And the words ache as they travel through my soul.

Another mass shooting.

Twenty, and counting . . . The death toll . . .

Just another day in America.

Thoughts and prayers will be soothing

All those who lost a friend

Or family . . .  And all who survived.

Healing words many will send

After a shooting, once again, hate inspired.

As most grasp for a reason.

Hold close the ones we love.

Hunting humans in season

All year round, we know of

Another life passing.

Others living with the memories

Of a shooting they survived, and are grasping,

For reasons they lived.  Will someone explain please

Why we all come from the Earth,

But some desire a reason to find difference.

Anger and often actions they rehearse,

Until in time they dispense

Gunfire to send their message.

Maybe there are words that could change

Their minds and actions . . . that take them to the edge

Of where life they arrange.

. . . And maybe these are only words.

And maybe they are only actions.

Both praying for hearts to be heard,

But into the darkness a message runs

With no communication in between.

Try to build a bridge that will meet.

Where eyes can be seen

And voices heard to defeat

The darkness . . .where lives change forever.

All life speaks similar thoughts.

With voices praying they never

Are forgotten . . .  Is love all that is ever sought?

 

©️ August 3, 2019   Lin Frog

 

PARASITE

 

Go to sleep with the sound of gunfire ringing in our ears.

Blood still spattered all around the site in El Paso.

Wake to the news of another massacre and fears

Of more to come as blood scars Dayton, Ohio.

And it almost seems a dream.

Though all too real.

Hate fills one, but it seems

Love and open hearts are the majority who feel

This pain . . . And guns take priority

In our country, their reign

Fill the pockets of the majority

Of those in power as they stain

The soul of our country, with innocent blood.

Families and friends grieving

Across America, tears flood

For those we have never met . . . Keep believing

Someone will open their eyes.

Or are they too filled with greed?

How do they sleep?  To compromise

Life . . .  for the money they “need.”

And children go to school each day.

Drills teach of possible ambush.

Recall when they used to play

But now the sounds of killing crush

The air . . . Listen for another tale

Of shooting in the distance.

Pray a troubled mind does not assail

Close to home, and take a stance.

For their “cause,” and spill the blood and dreams

That so many have known.

Simple solutions it seems,

But has the hatred grown

Out of control.

A parasite on our country.

Another shooting to take its toll

In the land of the free

. . .  As the sound of gunfire echoes free.

 

August 5, 2019                   ©️ Lin Frog

UPDATES 8/8: Paso del Norte Community Foundation benefit set for Sunday; City to hold community memorial service next Wednesday

This story will serve as an update for the events, comments and other information that comes into our newsroom on Thursday.

Update 8/8 – 5:00 p.m.

Paso del Norte Community Foundation benefit at El Paso County Coliseum to support shooting victims

The Paso del Norte Community Foundation, in partnership with the El Paso Sports Commission, will be sponsoring a special benefit fundraiser this weekend at the El Paso County Coliseum, 4100 East Paisano, organizers announced Thursday.

The Unidos El Paso Strong event will take over the Coliseum from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11. All proceeds will go toward the foundation’s El Paso Victims Relief Fund in support of the victims and families of the tragic shooting that occurred in East El Paso on Aug. 3.

The fundraiser, thanks to generous donations and additional sponsorships from area businesses and entities, will feature live music and entertainment, including DJ Chuy, DJ Leeroy, folklórico dancers and Mariachi Frontera, as well as a variety of beverages and food trucks, vendors, a car show, a kid’s play area, and so much more.

A team of experts from El Paso Mental Health will offer free counseling for those in need.

There will be a $5 donation entry fee for adults at the gate, while ages 12 and under get in free.

Update 8/8 – 3:00 p.m.

Community Memorial Service – Tribute to Honor Victims, Offer Community a Place of Healing

The City of El Paso is hosting a Community Memorial Service to reflect and remember the victims of the mass shooting and to offer a place of healing and support for the community.

“El Paso is resilient and our region is going to come together to show that we will not be defined by this act of violence, but rather by our outpouring of love,” Mayor Dee Margo said. “This memorial gathering will allow our entire region to unite in support of those injured, and mourn those who have lost their lives.”

The memorial gathering is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. It will be held at Southwest University Park in downtown and will be simulcast live at three satellite locations – the Convention Center and Cleveland Square Park both in downtown, and at Ponder Park, at 7500 WH Burges Drive.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE SERVICE

  • Starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at four locations.
  • Doors open at 6 p.m. at Southwest University Park, located at Franklin Avenue and Santa Fe Street. The public should arrive no more than one hour prior to doors opening. The memorial program will be simulcast live at three satellite sites to provide enough space to accommodate all who wish to participate.
  • Live simulcast at: the Convention Center, located at Santa Fe Street and San Antonio Avenue; at Cleveland Square Park, located at Santa Fe Street and Franklin Avenue; and at Ponder Park, located at 7500 W.H. Burges Drive.
  • Event is open to the public, free of charge and tickets are not required.
  • Free parking will be provided at all metered parking spaces and at various parking garages located in Uptown and Downtown. The following parking garages and lots will offer free parking:  Glory Road Transit Terminal, the Convention Center, the Union Plaza Transit Terminal, Mills Building Garage, 122 Kansas Parking Garage, Wells Fargo Parking Garage, the Surface Lot at 401 Mesa (across from San Jacinto Plaza), and the Surface Lot at 415 Mesa (behind Stewart Title).
  • At Ponder Park, the public may park in nearby on-street parking spaces, and at Sun Metro’s Eastside Terminal Parking lot, at 1165 Sunmount Drive.

***

El Paso Pro-Musica to Raise Funds for EP Shooting Victims Fund

El Paso Pro-Musica is dedicating 100 percent of the funds from the EPPM 100 Special Event, “An Evening with Zuill Bailey,” to the El Paso Shooting Victims Fund.

The Evening, will be hosted by the Herrera Group at 1011 North Mesa at 6:00 p.m. For more information go to eppm.org or call 915-747-8163.

El Paso Pro-Musica has been reaching out to the Community this week to provide soothing healing sounds of music. Students from the UTEP Studio of Zuill Bailey and the UTEP Center for Arts Entrepreneurship have been providing comfort through music this week at UMC and at the YISD Blood Drive.

 

El Paso Pro-Musica will continue in its mission to make music accessible to all throughout the community.

***

Update from  DEL SOL MEDICAL CENTER

-Following Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, 11 victims were transported and treated at Del Sol Medical Center.

-As of August 8, 2019, at 2:15 p.m. MT, six patients remain in this hospital. Three patients are now in good condition, two patients are in stable condition and one remains in critical condition.

***

915 United to hold benefit cruise Friday evening

Event is scheduled to star at 7:30 in the parking lot of FourWheel Parts (11751 Gateway West Blvd)  all information is below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Family Assistance Center Augments Services

The El Paso City-County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the American Red Cross has expanded the services being provided at the Family Assistance Center (FAC) to ensure the community is given comprehensive support to cope with the August 3 tragedy.

The Family Assistance Center is housed at the Convention Center in Downtown, near Santa Fe Street and San Antonio Avenue.

The center is opened from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Resources and services will be provided by public and private organizations. Parking fees will be waived for individuals visiting the FAC.

Services available include:

  • Counseling/spiritual Care
  • Healthcare assistance
  • Travel assistance
  • Financial support
  • Legal support
  • Government Assistance Program
  • Temporary ID’s and driver’s licenses
  • Documentation for Mexican Nationals
  • Belongings recovery
  • Onsite childcare
  • Translation services
  • Social Security card replacement
  • Vital statistics

Anyone needing immediate support may call the Crisis Hotline at (915) 779-1800

***

Red Lobster Hosts Dine Out Event to Support El Paso Community

Red Lobster is hosting a dine out to donate event in El Paso, TX following the awful tragedy that took place this past weekend. Red Lobster is committed to helping the local community. To show support for everyone affected, Red Lobster will donate 10% of its sales on Saturday, August 10th and Sunday, August 11th to the El Paso Community Fund.

WHEN: Saturday, August 10th & Sunday, August 11th, 2019

WHERE: Three Red Lobster restaurants located in El Paso, TX, including:

  • 800 Sunland Park Drive, El Paso, TX 79912
  • 8401 Gateway Blvd West, El Paso, TX 79925
  • 1860 Joe Battle Blvd, El Paso, TX 79936

***

Representative Svarzbein Offers Statement About 8/3/2019 Shooting Event

I am heartbroken by the events that took place in our City of El Paso. I am thankful to the first responders that activated to secure the situation, and who work every day to keep our beautiful community safe.

The resilience of our community is much greater than the hate that struck on Aug. 3rd 2019. Together we will heal and stand behind those affected by this tragedy. We will show our greatness through our love.

What El Paso and Juarez, being the great bi-national community that it is, can do more than any other place in the world is show how to live together. This is our destiny, our birthright and opportunity not just today, but every day moving forward, generation after generation. This is something few understand unless you were fortunate enough to live here.

This city is the biggest, boldest and most humble representation of the American Dream.

Below, are resources you may use to give back and assist those in need.

To Donate:
El Paso Community Foundation Victims Fund

Blood Donations:
El Paso, Texas – East Side Center
1338 N Zaragosa Rd
El Paso, TX 79936
(915) 849-7389

El Paso, Texas – West Side Center
424 S. Mesa Hills Drive
El Paso, Texas 79912
(915) 544-5422

Stay Safe, and be sure to hug those you love when you see them.

***

Mister Car Wash to Raise Funds for Paso del Norte Community Foundation August 10-11

Mister Car Wash El Paso Locations to Donate a Dollar for Every Car Wash and Oil Change This Weekend

EL PASO, TX – To raise funds in support of victims and their families affected by last weekend’s tragedy in West Texas, Mister Car Wash has announced that it will donate a dollar from every car wash and oil change its stores complete in El Paso this weekend.

All 10 Mister Car Wash locations as well as seven oil change locations in El Paso are participating in this fundraising endeavor.

How to participate: Simply visit any of the El Paso Mister Car Wash or Oil Change Express locations during normal business hours for a wash or oil change on Saturday, August 10 or Sunday, August 11 and Mister Car Wash will do the rest.

For hours and locations, visit their website.

Every dollar donated by Mister Car Wash this weekend as a result of this endeavor will flow through the Paso del Norte Community Foundation. Please note that Mister Car Wash is unable to accept cash donations.

***

Update 8/8 9a

EPStrong Counseling Co-Op Established to Assist Border Community

In the coming weeks and months, residents in our borderland area   may face many emotional challenges when dealing with the recent tragedy that has affected so many people in our community.

Emergence Health Network (EHN) together with Atlantis Health Services and the El Paso Psychiatric Center have established the EPStrong Counseling Co-Op.

“El Paso is strong, but we are stronger together. For families or individuals who need a safe space or would like to speak to a behavioral health professional, our co-ops offer those opportunities.,” said Kristi Daugherty, Emergence Health Network CEO. “When a traumatic event occurs, the impact can be immediate or delayed. These counseling drop-in locations makes getting that help much easier.”

Mental health professionals will be available at five different “drop-In” locations throughout the city.

No appointments are necessary.  Counseling provided free of charge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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El Paso Delegation Statement on Meeting with State Leaders

State Sen. José Rodríguez released the following statement on behalf of the El Paso delegation:

We had a productive initial meeting. The state is providing $5.6 million in immediate state agency assistance, and  Gov. Abbott is working to find additional resources to support our community, including services for first responders and victims.

State leaders pledged to work with the El Paso delegation to address gun violence driven by white nationalism. We all agreed that gun violence and white nationalism are pressing issues. Gov. Abbott, in his remarks, was frank about calling the shooter a white supremacist and his actions domestic terrorism. All leaders, from local to state to federal, must reject the ideology of white supremacy. 

The Governor’s office will announce further actions soon, including round table discussions on policy solutions. We are #ElPasoStrong, and as our community heals, we will work to find solutions so this does not happen anywhere else. 

***

Cowboys Make Donation To El Paso Victims’ Fund

FRISCO, Texas – In the wake of the recent tragedy in El Paso, Texas, the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation and the Dallas Cowboys have committed $50,000 to the El Paso Community Foundation Victims’ Fund, established to assist those families affected by the August 3 shooting.

The El Paso Community Foundation is working with the County of El Paso and the City of El Paso to help those impacted by Saturday’s incident.

The El Paso Community Foundation has waived all administrative and credit card fees associated with donating to the families. The City of El Paso encourages anyone wishing to make contributions to the victims click here.

The NFL Foundation, of which Cowboys Executive Charlotte Jones Anderson is the Chair, will also be announcing a donation of $50,000 to the El Paso effort later today.

“Our hearts and support are with the entire El Paso community and especially with the families of the victims of this very tragic event,” said Anderson. “Our organization has long enjoyed a wonderful following from the people of El Paso, and our wish is that so many others in Texas and around the country will be inspired to assist the loved ones who are grieving.”

The Dallas Cowboys have very close ties to the City of El Paso as a very large percentage of the area’s football fans have been strong supporters of the Dallas Cowboys for decades. The Cowboys annually activate community outreach programs in the El Paso area – including youth and high school football camps and public education grant opportunities.

Additional outreach opportunities will be promoted as scheduled for local North Texas residents wishing to support the El Paso Community Foundation and the Victims’ Fund.

The El Paso Community Foundation was established in 1977 to foster philanthropy and provide a long-term endowment to address the unique opportunities and challenges of the El Paso, southern New Mexico and Ciudad Juárez region. Today, the El Paso Community Foundation provides a wide-range of philanthropic services in the region as a grant maker, convener and leadership organization to the community.

In the area of community service, the mission of the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation is built upon an overall philosophy of helping those who do not have the strength, the resources or the means to help themselves.

story via DallasCowboys.com

***

COMMENTS / EMAILS from around the world supporting El Paso.

Via email from The Wolf

Out of a desire for malice, out of ignorance, whites are racist through their own education.   Even the nicest white friends say the most horrendous, insensitive & racist things. It’s no longer a surprise, just surprising it didn’t come out sooner. Whites lack empathy, they lack understanding, they lack a broader sense of human connection, they lack a sense of respect. Here is the caveat; It’s not all whites, but a large majority.  I haven’t met many that aren’t. Perhaps it’s how they are wired, their DNA must not permit change, or tolerance.  Whites can be cool with Hispanics but call blacks the N word. It’s a WTF? kind of head scratcher.  Maybe they’re stupid.  What whites really are is trained white.  Whites are taught this agenda by their families, by great grandpappy’s, grandpa’s and fathers.  It’s a generational thing with them.  Whites do NOT recognize the chains that bind them and thus, cannot break free. People worldwide are breaking generational curses, and traditions for their betterment.  Whites though, are sitting mouth agape and clueless. They talk about making America Great Again….. but which era do they mean?  The 1800’s?, the 1940’S, 50’S 70’S?  Which one?  The era where they owned black slaves? The era where it was ok to bathe Mexicans at the border in El Paso, the era where they could insult and mistreat women? The golden years of mistreating, killing people because they were not white? What era do these imbeciles mean when they say that malarkey? What MAGA really means to whites is let’s not evolve, let us not face the future, let us not embrace change. Whites seem perfectly content with it all.  Those are unintelligent wishes by white America. I agree with MAGA but in a very different way never before seen in America.  Now, the real MAGA, is a nation were America is not a white America but a peaceful America. Where laws apply equally to all, and not favor whites or anybody, be they rich, powerful, beautiful etc.  A place where we are concerned more about humans than about skin color or nationality. Where Americans truly are a land of immigrants that all positively contribute to a nation’s greatness.  The world is done with “speak English” you’re in America nonsense. Americans traveling abroad are incapable of at attempting to speak the native tongue themselves.  One language is not better than two is it?  Citizens of most other countries speak 2 or more languages, yet the white citizens of the “greatest country in the world” remain in the darkness of their monolingual world, mocking and disparaging multilingualism worldwide.  How foolish. That is akin to shouting I HAVE ONLY ONE TESTICLE! at a beautiful woman. That was an awful analogy but the take away is there for those that understand. Whites train to be white.  Whites prefer to exist in a kind of white from long ago, that now has no place in this America. Whites are tying to fit a square peg into a round hole. They just can’t seem to embrace change, and their difficulty in adjusting to change has caused them to say untrue and imagined things about non whites  which have inspired acts of violence. Imagine that, whites inciting whites to murder Mexicans because a politician said Hispanics were murderers and rapists. Although Trump’s words were untrue, his words created a murderer.  The El Paso shooter, shot zero murderers, zero illegal aliens, zero criminals, zero drug dealers, zero human traffickers and zero rapists. He shot people.  He shot American citizens.  He shot a U.S. Army veteran. He shot people that, had they ever seen him struggling, would have offered to help him.  But he was taught, by his family or other whites (Mexicans would not have taught him this, duh) to be violent, taught to hate, taught to destroy. At age 21, this kid had learned all there was to learn about life, about other wonderful cultures, he had learned all about being American. He was done and in his profound wisdom drove hundreds of miles for hours to a peaceful community, just to kill. Not all white people think this way, just don’t be surprised when white people say racist things. They are being taught these things. Maybe it’s xenophobia, maybe it’s what being white is about. Maybe we are all God’s kids. MAGA, Mexicans Are God’s Also. El Paso is love.  El Paso is going to shoot back. Not bullets, but love and light. Whites don’t have enough bullets to stop El Paso Love.

All the best,

The Wolf

*

Via email from Jürgen G. – Becheln, Germany

Dear Sirs and Madames,

I follow the news again and again when it comes to a rampage anywhere in the world. I also know that there will never be 100% security here. Maybe my suggestion can help reduce the number of victims in the future. I will not send this mail to Donald Trump. Although I am sure that my proposal will meet with great resistance, but it is worth a try when it comes to the protection of human lives.

Gun laws: How many more innocents do you want to bury? Most Americans want to be able to defend themselves, and that does not have to change. But a handgun is sufficient protection. Assault weapons and pump-action firearms should be banned in private homes. I am aware that many Americans love their guns, and there is no need to go changing that. There must be a great many firing ranges where people could safely store military-grade weapons in a single location, allowing them to pursue their interests whenever they want (separation of weapons and ammunition)

Ammunition for military-grade weapons should only be available at firing ranges. The firing ranges would be staffed by security personnel who would be responsible for making sure the weapons and ammunition are kept under lock and key. Security guards would keep the weapons and ammunitions safe during times when the firing ranges are closed. The manager of the firing range would keep the access code and the necessary keys safe 24/7. People would need to present a police certificate (clean criminal background check) to buy weapons. Personal weapons would need to be stored safely out of the reach of children and adolescents. Owning illegal weapons is a criminal offense.

Yours Sincerely

Jürgen G.

Becheln, Germany

*

Via email from Randy C.

I SUPPORT your Right to Bear Arms – But with LIMITS!

First of all, it is important to understand that I consider myself a pretty staunch fiscal conservative that generally leans Republican.  I am also a believer in upholding the Constitution, but that means ALL of it, not just the parts that are convenient for me.  Specifically I support the 2nd Amendment, but not at the expense of children’s lives or ignoring the rest of the constitution, or the safety of our citizens.

Our founding father started with a Preamble that states “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

They then added Amendments to list our specific rights, including:

Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791:  A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

But, they also added:

Amendment 9 – Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791:  The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

So, it seems pretty obvious that they intended to protect the right to bear arms, but based on Amendment 9, only if it does not to deny or disparage other rights provided in the constitution.  When the ownership of guns includes things like machine guns, assault rifles, and other weapons with high capacity magazines that can be used to kill dozens in a matter of seconds, I think it has just denied others their “domestic tranquility”, “general welfare:, and the “Blessings of Liberty”!

And for all those members of the NRA, as well as the politicians indebted to them, I have a simple message.   This is not about eliminating the 2nd Amendment. It is about deciding what arms and weapons are acceptable in the world we live in today.  It is not about taking away the right to own pistols, rifles, or shotguns.  It doesn’t even need to be about automatic or semi-automatic weapons.  We are talking about guns with high capacity magazines that can rip through the flesh of 25 people in a matter of seconds.  Many oppose changes to gun control to protect their right to have hunting and sporting rifles.  Does any self-respecting hunter need a gun that can fire 30 shots in 15 seconds without reloading?  If so, it is no longer hunting or sport!!   If it takes 30 rounds to down your prey, you need to take up fishing.  You may lean on the excuse that “We need those weapons to protect our freedom, but I have a news flash for you:  If our freedom is threatened, even these machine guns will not help.  The enemy is not going to appear marching over the hill or through the woods to try to capture your house!  If we are going to make the 2nd Amendment sacred, let’s not limit ownership just to machine guns!  Perhaps you need to add a couple of rocket launchers with a nuclear warhead to your gun cabinet!

Finally, I hear people use the argument that “banning assault guns will not prevent all these mass killings”.  To that, I agree.  So does that mean we just ignore the problem?  But if we ban them, maybe it will prevent SOME of them.  For me, or to any of the hundreds of family members who have buried loved ones, I bet they wished their loss would have been among some of them that were prevented.

I have said my peace, and without a doubt alienated friends, but this is an important issue, one of life and death.  If you are an adamant 2nd Amendment person, you will “shoot holes” in everything I have said, and that is your choice.  But I challenge you to do something.  If you are convinced that your right to own machine guns and assault rifles is so important, clip out the letter below, just fill in your loved ones name, identify your relationship to that person, and sign your name.  Read it to them, and ask them to keep it in a safe place so they can cherish it forever!  If you really believe in your 2nd amendment rights, stand up and have the guts to give this letter to your loved ones!

*

Via eMail from pfabiani184

My heart goes out to the victims, family of the victims and the city of El Paso for the recent deplorable attacks on your citizens. Your healing will be a long and difficult journey. If there is a website where I can send any financial assistance to those that were victimized please let me know so that I may help in the healing process. I am disappointed that many politicians took advantage of this tragedy to promote hate and promote their political objectives for office, especially those that sought out financial donations for their cause, while the people of El Paso sought only to heal. This was not the time or place to promote and ask for donations to their party. Don’t we have enough hate. To the politicians that are taking advantage of this tragedy to promote themselves, please back off and leave the political rhetoric at home.

*

Via email from Ofelia G.

Why have we not heard about the shooters family life.

Why have we not heard about the parents and life style.

I want to know his upbringing.

Does this ideology spill over to parents way of thinking?

I don’t think he acted on just what websites say but deeper roots to racism at home!

We are raising children to do what they want and give them so much that parents become afraid of them when they grow up.

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Via email from S myres

We used to live in El Paso and it was a good place to live….

However, there was not a BETO mouthing off all his hate, ignorance,  lies. It is HIS RHETORIC that creates hate, division, slander, and pure EVIL to any city or country.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH…Trump is not a RACIST,  he is NOT a FACSISIT or SOCIALIST or COMMUNIST…

These DEMOCRATS have got to SHUT THEIR ARROGANT NARCISSISTIC DESPICABLE DIAHARREA mouth

*

Via email from Gordon S.

I was astounded to read about yet another mass shooting in the US ,when are they going to liten to australia and NZ ,NZ prime minister solved the problem within one fornight of a shooting ,ban all military automatic weapons ,when your constitution was framed the founding fathers had no concept of weapons available today outlaw guns and then only outlaws will have them

As an ausralian I feel deeply embarrassed for all americans

I live in Perth western Australia and have never been intrested in american politics but it is now starting to impact on my superannuation and may get australia involved in world politics not of our making

*

Via email from Susan B.

The man who fills the role of your President does not deserve respect – I would turn my back on him and I would also shout him down with ‘Do something!” My father fought in the Second World War – the rise of Neo Nazis does such dis-service to those men and women who gave their lives and their life to fight against this evil!

*

Via email from Rajend N. in Sidney, Australia

Trump contends it’s not guns but mental illness that is responsible for gun violence in America. In his letter in the Sydney Morning Herald ( 9 August ) Jeremy Smith wonders ” if Trump has stopped to consider why there is a disproportionately large number of Americans who suffer from mental illness “.

If it was not for that large number of mentally affected Americans Trump would not be elected President . A sane society would never elect such a misfit as president .

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Via email from MICHAEL M.

  1. HOPE THE PEOPLE OF El Paso FILE A CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST Donald Trump FOR INCIING VIOLENCE IN THE CITY OF El Paso

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Via email from Susanna L.

In the last week we have witnessed additional horrific events with the usual response from the Trump administration and congress, silence except for the rote rhetoric we’ve heard so many times.    Since domestic terrorism has become an integral part of the American fabric and those who have the power to change it, i.e., McConnell and Trump, seemingly don’t care, I say the dark side has taken over, and the dark side emanates from the president and is passed to his hateful base.  The base, as we know, is predominantly white and racist and as I’ve come to accept, uneducated.   The reason I say uneducated is that they don’t seem to realize that they themselves are immigrants, yes generally of a different color, but they too “invaded” to use Trump’s favorite term and stole land from the Native Americans and then proceeded, to name a few examples, to enslave Africans, use Chinese to build infrastructure, put Japanese citizens in internment camps, and now demonize the “brown” people from Central America who take enormous risks in getting here to escape rape, murder and poverty.   Without the energy and contributions of our brown brothers and sisters, this country would come to a standstill!  We must finally admit that our country is racist and always has been.  I am struggling with the reasons for this and have come to the conclusion that humanity is greatly flawed, the dark side is real and those who seek it are currently running our country.

*

Via email from Samar A.

In an attack of outright cowardice and terrorism, an attacker opened fire in a popular downtown area in Dayton, killing 9 and injuring 26 others.  This also comes on the heels of a tragic shooting that occurred in El Paso, Texas almost 12 hours earlier.

As an Ahmadi Muslim, I condemn this senseless and vile attack.  Terror, in any form, is unacceptable and against the fabric of any moral system.  I would also like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families, who were only trying to enjoy a relaxing, fun night.  My earnest prayers are with them at this time.

Islam places tremendous importance on the sanctity of human life.  In the Holy Quran it states, “Whosoever killed a person..it shall be as if killed all of mankind” (5:33).

It is my hope and prayer that we can all unite in this tragic period in our history, where mass shootings have become not a blip but a deadly trend.  It is also imperative that we do not tolerate any form of violence or abuse as it eliminates any hope of a peaceful and prosperous future.

Sincerely,

Samar A.

Member, Muslim Writers Guild of America

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Via email from J.W. King – North Carolina

Oh God! Why El Paso?  I grew up on your streets. I attended your school’s there. My life was painted in El Paso.

Every other town I have lived, I have thought back to El Paso.  I’ve never cried for El Paso, except tonight.

I can’t be there physically, but mentally people of El Paso God is with you.

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Via email from JOANNE P. – CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND.

EL PASO LOSS

I got up  this morning to discover that while I had been sleeping El Paso had been thrown into darkness.  The type of darkness that on some days you will wonder if you will ever see a glimpse of the sun again.

But right now – I hope, somehow it may  lighten your load to know we are weeping with you.

One individual cannot bring down a City like El Paso.   From experience in I can tell you it  has the opposite effect.   And as each individual is ready there will be  A sunrise.

Take care of each other – “YOU ARE ONE”

*

None of the eight patients being treated at the hospital Trump visited in El Paso wanted to meet with him

On a day when President Trump vowed to tone down his rhetoric and help the country heal following two mass slayings, he did the opposite — lacing his visits Wednesday to El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, with a flurry of attacks on local leaders and memorializing his trips with grinning thumbs-up photos.

A traditional role for presidents has been to offer comfort and solace to all Americans at times of national tragedy, but the day provided a fresh testament to Trump’s limitations in striking notes of unity and empathy.

When Trump swooped into the grieving border city of El Paso to offer condolences following the massacre of Latinos allegedly by a white supremacist, some of the city’s elected leaders and thousands of its citizens declared the president unwelcome.

In his only public remarks during the trip, Trump lashed out at Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, both Democrats, over their characterization of his visit with hospital patients in Dayton.

“We had an amazing day,” Trump said in El Paso as he concluded his visit. “As you know, we left Ohio. The love, the respect for the office of the presidency.”

Trump also praised El Paso police officers and other first responders and shook their hands, telling one female officer, “I saw you on television the other day and you were fantastic.”

None of the eight patients still being treated at University Medical Center in El Paso agreed to meet with Trump when he visited the hospital, UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke said. Two victims who already had been discharged returned to the hospital with family members to meet with the president.

“This is a very sensitive time in their lives,” Mielke said. “Some of them said they didn’t want to meet with the president. Some of them didn’t want any visitors.”

Before Trump’s visit Wednesday, however, some of the hospitalized victims accepted visits from a number of city and county elected officials, as well as Reps. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso and Jesús “Chuy” García, D-Illinois.

This has thrust Trump into the center of a roiling political and societal debate, with some Democratic leaders saying the president has emboldened white supremacy and is a threat to the nation.

Former vice president Joe Biden, who is running to unseat Trump in 2020, said in a speech Wednesday, “We have a president with a toxic tongue who has publicly and unapologetically embraced a political strategy of hate, racism and division.”

Both in Dayton and El Paso, Trump kept almost entirely out of public view, a marked break with tradition, as presidents visiting grieving communities typically offer public condolences.

Trump avoided the Oregon district where the shooting in Dayton took place, and just a short drive from Miami Valley Hospital, which he did visit. Whaley said he would not have been welcome in the Oregon District, where scores of demonstrators congregated, holding ­anti-Trump signs and chanting “Do something!” in a call for stricter gun laws.

Brown and Whaley described the visit by the president and first lady in favorable terms.

“They were hurting. He was comforting. He did the right things. Melania did the right things,” Brown told reporters. “And it’s his job in part to comfort people. I’m glad he did it in those hospital rooms.”

Whaley added: “I think the victims and the first responders were grateful that the president of the United States came to Dayton.”

Both Brown and Whaley, however, were also sharply critical of Trump’s divisive rhetoric and Republican resistance to gun-control legislation.

Whaley later responded to Trump’s comments about her and Brown by calling him “a bully and a coward.” She said on CNN, “It’s fine that he wants to bully me and Sen. Brown. We’re okay. We can take it.”

The traveling press corps was not allowed to observe Trump’s visit with three victims who remained hospitalized. It fell therefore to White House aide Dan Scavino to proclaim in a tweet that Trump “was treated like a Rock Star inside the hospital.”

Trump and the first lady also met with police officers, fire officials, trauma surgeons and nurses at the facility, which treated 23 victims of the shooting. The hospital invited victims who had already been released to come back and meet with the president and the first lady.

“It was an authentic visit,” hospital president Mike Uhl said, praising Trump as “attentive, present and extremely accommodating.”

Trump offered his own affirmation on Twitter: “It was a warm & wonderful visit. Tremendous enthusiasm & even Love.”

Grisham said journalists were kept out of the hospital visit because staff did not want it to devolve into “a photo op” and overwhelm the victims with media.

The White House, however, distributed its own photos of Trump smiling for pictures with first responders, along with a slickly produced video, helping make the president the center of attention.

Trump’s reception in El Paso was less hospitable, and not only because so many local leaders have said they believe his rhetoric inspired Saturday’s slayings at a shopping center near the U.S.-Mexico border. Although he won the state of Texas in the 2016 election, Trump captured just 25.7 percent of the vote in El Paso County, the worst performance recorded here by a major-party presidential candidate in at least two decades.

An ever-growing makeshift memorial has sprouted near the shooting scene that features piles of colorful flowers, a row of white crosses, a line of prayer candles, as well as messages to the president. “Mr. T, Respect our sorrow and grief. Do not ‘invade’ our city,” reads one note, a reference to Trump’s repeated warnings of a migrant “invasion” at the border.

Just before Trump arrived in El Paso — where he and the first lady met with law enforcement personnel at an emergency operations center following their hospital visit — several hundred people gathered in opposition to his trip .

Congregating under the hot midday sun in a baseball field for an “El Paso Strong” event, some held homemade signs. “Go home! You are NOT welcome here!” read one. “This was Trump-inspired terrorism,” read another. “Trump repent,” read a third.

At one point, the crowd chanted, “Send him back!” — a nod to the incendiary “Send her back!” chant about Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) at one of Trump’s campaign rallies last month.

“We feel like right now we should be in mourning, and we feel like we should be collecting our thoughts, we should be doing vigils and we should be gathering together as a community. We believe it is an insult that the president is coming here,” said one of the organizers, Jaime Candelaria, a 37-year-old singer and songwriter.

Escobar said onstage, “In this moment, someone is visiting … I felt it was important that we come together and not focus on the visitor, but focus on El Paso.” She added, “We will not stop resisting the hate! Resisting the bigotry! Resisting the racism!”

In the crowd at the El Paso Strong event was Shawn Nixon, 20, a Walmart employee who was at work restocking the school supplies area when the gunman opened fire Saturday morning. At the sound of the shots, Nixon said he fell to the ground, pulling with him a young child who had been shopping with his mother.

All I’m just asking for Donald Trump, for the president, to do is to say ‘sorry,’ ” Nixon said. “He created this crime. He created it because of his words. Every time that he’s on TV, that’s what he’s doing.”

During his flight home from El Paso, Trump attacked Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, the twin brother of presidential candidate Julián Castro, tweeting that he “makes a fool of himself every time he opens his mouth.” The congressman has come under scrutiny for publicizing a list of San Antonio donors who have contributed to Trump and accusing them of “fueling a campaign of hate.”

On Saturday in El Paso, authorities said, a man opened fire inside the Walmart, killing 22 people and injuring two dozen others. At 1:05 a.m. Sunday, a gunman killed nine people and injured 27 others outside a bar in Dayton, police said.

All week, Trump has zigzagged between two competing instincts: unite and divide.

In the immediate aftermath of the shootings, Trump remained cloistered at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., issuing only short statements on Twitter. Back at the White House on Monday, the president delivered a scripted speech in which he preached harmony.

“Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside — so destructive — and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion and love,” Trump said, reading from teleprompters.

The president did not heed his own advice, however. Late Tuesday night, he took to Twitter to attack Beto O’Rourke, the former El Paso congressman running for president who has said Trump bears some responsibility for the shooting there because of his demonization of Latino immigrants.

Trump tweeted: “Beto (phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage) O’Rourke, who is embarrassed by my last visit to the Great State of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement — & be quiet!”

Then, as he departed the White House on Wednesday morning en route to Ohio, Trump told reporters he would refrain from attacking his adversaries during the trip.

“I would like to stay out of the political fray,” the president said. Asked about his rhetoric, he said he thinks it “brings people together” and added, “I think we have toned it down.”

That detente lasted only a few minutes. Answering a reporter’s question about Biden, Trump pounced. “Joe is a pretty incompetent guy,” the president said. “Joe Biden has truly lost his fastball, that I can tell you.”

By the time the president had left Dayton, he was back on Twitter and sniping at Democrats, a tirade triggered by his consumption of cable television news aboard Air Force One.

“Watching Sleepy Joe Biden making a speech. Sooo Boring! The LameStream Media will die in the ratings and clicks with this guy,” the president wrote.

Then he lashed out at Brown and Whaley, falsely accusing them of “totally misrepresenting” the reception he received at Miami Valley Hospital. He alleged that their news conference immediately after the president’s visit “was a fraud.”

But neither Brown nor Whaley said Trump received a poor reception at the hospital.

When Whaley first saw Trump’s tweets criticizing her and Brown, she paused for a moment to read them on a cellphone and said, “I don’t — I mean, I’m really confused. We said he was treated, like, very well. So, I don’t know why they’re talking about ‘misrepresenting.’

“Oh, well, you know,” the mayor added with a shrug. “He lives in his world of Twitter.”

Parker and Johnson reported from El Paso, and Rucker and Sonmez reported from Washington. Arelis R. Hernández in Dayton, Robert Moore in El Paso, and Colby Itkowitz and John Wagner in Washington contributed to this report.

Authors:  ASHLEY PARKER, FELICIA SONMEZ, JENNA JOHNSON AND PHILIP RUCKER, THE WASHINGTON POST

More than 20 people were killed in an Aug. 3, 2019, shooting rampage at a Walmart in El Paso. The gunman was arrested and charged with capital murder for the shooting in El Paso, which is recoveringfrom what federal law enforcement has classified as an act of domestic terrorism.

MORE IN THIS SERIES 

UPDATES 8/7: President visits UMC, EPPD; Walmart announces $400k cash donations; Fountains at Farah to Donate $100k

This story will serve as an update for the events, comments and other information that comes into our newsroom on Wednesday.

8/7 UPDATE 8 p.m.

PRESIDENT VISITS UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER OF EL PASO

University Medical Center of El Paso hosted President Donald J. Trump today during his visit to El Paso to meet with hospital staff, families or victims of the Aug. 3 mass casualty shooting.

While at UMC, President Trump greeted many of UMC’s healthcare providers who ensured the very best care for patients who arrived as a result of the mass casualty shooting Aug. 3.

“Our entire UMC team performed exceedingly well on Aug. 3, along with our partner physicians from Texas Tech Physicians and the entire team at El Paso Children’s Hospital,” said Jacob Cintron, UMC President & CEO. “This was an opportunity for us to showcase our expertise and facility, a place that our entire region can look to for the highest level of care.”

What follows is the White House Pool Report of the visit via Eli Stokols – LA Times, Washington Bureau

POTUS arrived at University Hospital in El Paso at roughly 3 p.m. Pool did not see him enter.  As we neared the hospital, some crowds of protesters could be seen gathered down a few side streets.

Pool held for the last hour or so in a hallway by some elevators while POTUS met with victims, families and medical staff at University Hospital in El Paso. One doctor getting on the elevator did express some excitement to a colleague about having gotten “a pic with POTUS” on his phone.

At 4:07 p.m., we were directed back downstairs and then out of the hospital and into vans. As in Dayton earlier, there was no opportunity here for the pool to see POTUS or any of the people he met with during this visit.

The White House reiterates to the pool that they have kept the pool at a distance today out of respect for victims and families who they didn’t want to feel overwhelmed by a crush of reporters and cameras. Per her previous gaggle on AF1, Stephanie Grisham said the White House would be releasing photos after being asked by a reporter.

Motorcade is rolling from the hospital as of 4:23.

A few hundred onlookers gathered on the sidewalk, cameras in the air, as POTUS pulled away from the hospital at 4:23 p.m. local time. Driving back through town, one group of protestors could be seen again down a side street.

After about a 15-minute ride north on US 54, POTUS is nearing his second stop in El Paso at an emergency operations center. Pool access is again uncertain.

POTUS pulled into the gates of the El Paso Regional Communications Center at 4:42 local time. On the street outside, in a group of protestors, someone held up a large white bedsheet on which they’d written in black: “Racist, go home.”

Pool is holding in a meeting room; pool coverage of what we’re told will be a quick event is still unknown.

     Q    Mr. President, can you tell us about today and what you’ve seen?

THE PRESIDENT:  We had an amazing day.  As you know, we left Ohio.  And the love and the respect for the office of the presidency, it was — I wish you could have been in there to see it.  I wish you could have been in there.

And it was no different here.  We went to the hospital — just came from the hospital.  We were there a lot longer than we were anticipated to be.  It was supposed to be just a fairly quick — we met with numerous people.  We met with also the doctors, the nurses, the medical staff.  They have done an incredible job — both places.  Just incredible.

And the enthusiasm, the love, the respect, and also the — telling me, “Let’s see if we can get something done.”  And Republicans want to do it and Democrats want to do it.

And, by the way, here is a great hero.  This man — the job he did.  You all know who it is.  Everybody — the whole world knows who you are now, right?

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS OAKLEY:  Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  So you’ll be a movie star, the way you look.  That’ll be — hey, that’ll be next.  Who knows, right?

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS OAKLEY:  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  But what a job.  What a job you did.

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS OAKLEY:  Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  There are a lot of heroes.  There are a lot of heroes.  A lot of people did just incredible work.  Now we’re going in, I believe, Chief, and say hello to some of your folks.

POLICE CHIEF ALLEN:  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  This is one of the most respected men in law enforcement, and I want to thank you very much.

POLICE CHIEF ALLEN:  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.

Q    President Trump, you said today was about healing and unity, and you’ve attacked a number of your critics — Vice President Biden, Senator Brown, Mayor Whaley, as well as various members of the media.  Can you explain why you chose to take that tone?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, they shouldn’t be politicking.  Yeah, they shouldn’t be politicking today.  I had it with Sherrod Brown.  He and the mayor, Nan Whaley, they asked to go in — “Could we possibly go in and make the tour with you?”  I said, “Yeah, let’s do it.”

They couldn’t believe what they saw, and they said it to people.  They’ve never seen anything like it.  The entire hospital — no different than what we had in El Paso — the entire hospital was — I mean, everybody was so proud of the job they did because they did a great job.  They did a great job here.

And then I said goodbye.  I took them in, at their request.  We made the tour.  They couldn’t believe it.  She said it to people.  He said it to people.

I get on Air Force One, where they do have a lot of televisions.  I turn on the television, and there they are, saying, “Well, I don’t know if it was appropriate for the President to be in…”  You know, et cetera, et cetera.  You know, the same old line.  And they’re very dishonest people and that’s probably why he got, I think, about zero percent and he failed as a presidential candidate.

We’re going to go in and see some very brave people.  And I wanted to meet this hero before I did anything.  And we appreciate it.

Pool is moving to a second, larger room where roughly 100 first responders are gathered. Trump just entered and is praising first responders.

In the larger room, Trump told the first responders that they are “the best” and gave brief remarks before moving to a line to shake hands with a number of the people.

Pool is in the back of the room and it is hard to hear POTUS clearly, but I could hear him say “All over the world, they’re talking about the job you’ve done.”

He also referenced the El Paso shooter and seemed to be saying something about how he “gave up” but pool couldn’t make out the quote clearly.

As POTUS shook hands and spoke with some first responders, he made his way closer to the pool.

“I saw you on television the other day and you were fantastic,” Trump told a female office who responded to the Wal-Mart shooting.

He also signed a couple autographs, speaking in a low voice and sometimes a whisper.

Trump, after making his way around the room, concluded by telling the group that he “sent a lot of new equipment your way.”

He said that if they need anything just to call. He exited the room at 5:15. Pool headed back to vans.

The motorcade was rolling at 5:22 p.m. local time and returned to El Paso International Airport at 5:36.

POTUS waited a moment until the stairs were moved into place, then exited the limousine, waved to the pool, and climbed up the steps with FLOTUS to board at 5:40.

Thank you to co-pooler Ashley Parker for her help catching and transcribing quotes. And another thank you to Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham for pushing for pool access at our final stop and to all of our wranglers today.

***

Walmart announces $400,000 in support of the El Paso Community

In response to the tragic event in El Paso on Saturday, Walmart is committing $400,000 in direct cash grants to support local community foundations that have set up funds for those impacted by the tragedy.

To address the urgent need of support, Walmart is providing cash donations to the El Paso Community Foundation’s Shooting Victims’ Fund and Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s El Paso Victims Relief Fund. Walmart is also working closely with local officials and government entities to help meet the needs of those affected.

“Our hearts ache for El Pasoans,” said Greg Foran, president and chief executive officer, Walmart U.S. “As we work on helping our associates through this tragedy, we also want to help ensure the community has the resources it needs by providing funds to support the important work the El Paso Community Foundation and the Paso del Norte Community Foundation are doing during this difficult time. We want to support the people of El Paso every step of the way.”

The El Paso Community Foundation, established in 1977, has a long history of providing a wide-range of philanthropic services including community convener, grant maker and leadership organization for the El Paso region. Since 2013, the Paso del Norte Community Foundation has worked to improve education, health, social services, economic development and quality of life in the Paso del Norte region.

In addition to the commitments to the two foundations, Sam’s Club has donated food and water to the local family reunification center and three area hospitals. Walmart is also providing support for its associates through its Resources for Living program to ensure they have what they need at this difficult time.

***

Fountains at Farah to Donate $100,000 to Victims’ Relief Fund

The Fountains at Farah announced today that the center will match up to $100,000 in donations towards the El Paso Shooting Victims’ Relief Fund at the El Paso Community Foundation.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit the donation website to donate.  The foundation is waiving all administrative fees and credit card fees associated with the fund.  The donations will help the families of those affected.

“We continue to grieve for the victims and their families in the wake of this horrific tragedy,” said Giovanni Silva, General Manager at The Fountains at Farah.  “We applaud the ongoing efforts of our local law enforcement and medical professionals who protect and care for those in the Borderplex community.”

***

8/7 UPDATE 3 p.m.

***

President Trump lands in El Paso, heads to UMC to meet with victims

Some 3 hours after visiting the country’s second mass shooting location in Dayton, Ohio, President Donald Trump landed in El Paso.   The President’s visit is expected to be a brief one, similar to his Dayton stop where he visited with survivors at a local hospital, as well as first responders.

It’s unknown if the President will be visiting the makeshift memorial directly behind the Cielo Vista Walmart where 22 people were killed on Saturday.

***

UPDATE: UMC, EPCH GIVE STATUS OF PATIENTS

University Medical Center of El Paso and El Paso Children’s Hospital today provided an update on the patients treated at each hospital as a result of the mass casualty shooting at an El Paso Walmart on Aug. 3.

The following is an update regarding the 15 patients brought to University Medical Center of El Paso as a result of the mass casualty shooting:

 2 children were transferred from University Medical Center to El Paso Children’s Hospital on Aug. 3 with non-life threatening injuries and discharged by El Paso Children’s Hospital Aug. 4

 4 adult patients have been discharged from University Medical Center

 1 adult patient was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at University Medical Center on Aug. 3

 5 adult patients remain in critical condition and are receiving treatment in University Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit

 3 adult patients are in stable but serious condition at University Medical Center

Another update will be provided as appropriate or when there is a significant change in status of these patients.

***

MountainStar Sports Group, Foster Family Foundation and Hunt Family Foundation Announce Support For Victims of Saturday’s Tragedy

The MountainStar Sports Group Foundation, on behalf of the El Paso Chihuahuas Foundation and the El Paso Locomotive FC Foundation, the Foster Family Foundation and Hunt Family Foundation together announced today they will contribute a total of $150,000 to the two victims’ relief funds to support those affected by the tragic event that occurred on Saturday, August 3rd in El Paso.

“On behalf of MountainStar Sports Group and our two ownership families, our thoughts are with the victims and their families that were affected by the tragedy that took place Saturday,” said MountainStar Sports Group CEO and co-owner, Josh Hunt. “We are thankful for the first responders for ensuring the safety of our community and the medical staff that have given countless hours to those who remain hospitalized because of this tragedy.”

The Chihuahuas return to Southwest University Park today, Wednesday, August 7th for the start of a seven game homestand. In support of the community, the Chihuahuas will wear their black road jerseys featuring the “El Paso” script and will don the black “EP” cap.

A moment of silence will be held prior to the first pitch.

The Chihuahuas and Locomotive will also wear an “ELPASOSTRONG” patch on their jerseys for the remainder of the 2019 season.

Additionally, upon entry to the Locomotive game on August 17th, fans will receive “ELPASOSTRONG” flags and a moment of silence will be observed prior to kickoff.

Support for the El Paso community does not end with the Chihuahuas and the Locomotive teams.

Locomotive players, led by midfielder Sabastian Velasquez, have raised more than $20,000 to support EP Fusion FC, a youth soccer team that was directly affected by Saturday’s tragedy. Monies raised will also be donated to support victims and their families.

Velasquez, along with other El Paso Locomotive players, began a Twitter campaign to help in the fundraising efforts. Teams, players, and coaches from around the United States and beyond have made contributions.

The San Diego Padres, the Chihuahuas Major League Baseball affiliate, are also assisting in the El Paso Victims Relief Fund efforts. The Padres will wear the black “EP” cap during Thursday’s batting practice in San Diego. At the conclusion of batting practice, the players will sign the caps and later the Chihuahuas will auction them off with proceeds benefiting the El Paso Victims Relief Fund.

The Padres organization will also make a $30,000 donation to the El Paso Victims Relief Fund via a joint contribution from the Padres Foundation, Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and General Partner Peter Seidler.

Moreover, fellow Texas club San Antonio FC will join the Locomotive in making a donation to victims’ funds.

MountainStar Sports Group President Alan Ledford said, “Both the Chihuahuas and Locomotive organizations have been overwhelmed by the outreach and support from outside El Paso. Clearly, those we work with who have gotten to know El Paso and its people have developed a love for this city which they’ve expressed with their words and generous donations. We are very thankful and touched by this outpouring of love and support. El Paso is an amazingly resilient community and as it moves forward, the city will be stronger than ever. We look forward to playing a role in this process.”

More information on the Chihuahuas and Locomotive efforts are forthcoming.

For more information on how to contribute to victims’ relief efforts, visit pdnfoundation.org or contact the Paso del Norte Community Foundation at (915) 544-7636 and/or the visit epcf.org or call the El Paso Community Foundation at (915) 533-4020

***

Paso del Norte Community Foundation: Victim’s relief fund now at $1.6m and growing

The El Paso Victims Relief Fund was established to accept monetary donations to support victims and their families affected by the tragedy of Saturday, August 3, 2019.

The outpouring of support has been extraordinary with more than $1.6 million in donations of gifts large and small received to date from over 3,087 donors, with additional contributions expected over the coming days and weeks. The fund has been the beneficiary of significant corporation contributions as well as proceeds from local fundraising efforts.

“This has been an incredibly difficult week for our community struck by an unthinkable act of violence. We are so grateful for the generosity and caring of thousands of people in El Paso and around the United States and the world,” said Tracy J. Yellen, CEO of the Paso del Norte Community Foundation. “Our hearts are with each family and our entire community.”

The Paso del Norte Community Foundation is working with the City of El Paso and other funding and community partners to coordinate and provide direct financial assistance to the victims and their families to assist with short, medium and long-term expenses. The PDN Community Foundation will not assess any administrative fees to ensure that 100% of donations support victims and their families.

Sample of corporate contributions to date:

– El Paso Electric – First National Bank 1871 – Group 1 Automotive – Helen of Troy – Hunt Companies – Macy’s – Mimco/Marcus Family – MountainStar Sports – Panda Express – Peter Piper Pizza – Platinum Software Labs – Tiguas Ysleta del Sur – United Bank of El Paso – Verizon Wireless – Walmart.org

To donate or to learn more, visit pdnfoundation.org or call 915-544-7636. #ElPasoStrong

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Cornyn Returns to El Paso, Donates Blood, and Condemns Hate-Filled Act of White Supremacist

Today U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) visited Vitalant’s El Paso West location to donate blood to aid survivors of the shooting in El Paso.

While there, he spoke to reporters about what Congress can do to prevent shootings like in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio from happening again in the future.

Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below.

“What happened here in El Paso is heartbreaking, and I know we’re all looking for information and answers. Meeting with some of the families in the hospital, as I know the president will do today, it’s amazing to me to see their resilience.”

“In Congress, we’re trying to come up with some answers.”

“We have tried to respond to some of these mass shootings in the past by improving our background check system to make sure that felons and other people who are already legally disqualified from getting firearms do so, but we also know that mental health is a huge factor.”

“But this particular incident looks clearly to be the act of a white supremacist, an act of domestic terrorism.”

“How you identify these people before they commit their crimes is really the puzzle that we have to try to be able to figure out how to solve.”

“This is a puzzle that we need to try to solve if we’re going to protect innocent lives, as we must do.”

“Senator McConnell, the Majority Leader of the Senate, has tasked members of the Senate to come together to see what sort of legislative responses might be appropriate, and some of the work we’ve done in the past, I think, is helpful, but it doesn’t cover something quite like this.”

“We need to try to adjust and to try to come up with ideas where we can hopefully identify people like this earlier and hopefully take them out of action so that they don’t commit these terrible, terrible acts of violence.”

***

8/7 UPDATE 12 Noon

CNN: President visits Dayton, greeted by protesters

President Trump visited Dayton, Ohio Wednesday morning, the site of the nation’s second mass shooting on Saturday.

According to sources there, the president met with some victims, family members as well as first responders.  He did not make any public remarks during his 3-hour visit.

President Trump is expected to arrive in El Paso shortly before 2 p.m.

***

Following Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, 11 victims were transported and treated at Del Sol Medical Center.

-As of August 7, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. MT, six patients remain in this hospital, with one in critical condition and five in stable condition.

-Del Sol Medical Center patient Octavio Lizarde, who participated in the August 6 press conference, underwent orthopedic surgery on his injured foot. According to his surgeon, Lt. Col. Dr. Justin Orr, the surgery went very well.

-Del Sol Medical Center is not expecting a POTUS visit, nor is the hospital planning a press conference today.

***

8/7 UPDATE 10:00 a.m.

El Paso’s own Khalid will hold his benefit concert for the mass shooting victims on September 1st at the Don Haskins Arena. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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El Paso Mayor Pro Tem Perez and Commissioner Perez Joint Statement on President’s Visit

El Paso Mayor Pro Tempore Claudia Ordaz Perez and County Commissioner Vincent Perez issued the following statement today regarding President Trump’s visit to El Paso:

 

“As the people of El Paso heal from the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history against Hispanics, we call on the President to use his visit to personally condemn racial terrorism by white supremacists, in no uncertain terms.

 

“Calling on our nation to condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy must begin with President of the United States demanding an end to these domestic acts of terrorism, where the lives of 22 innocent victims from our community are now lost. If the President fails to strongly condemn this racially-motivated terrorist attack and fails to call for an end to the use of violence against minority groups by radicalized white nationalist terrorists during his visit, his continued depiction of immigrants and migrants as a threat to our nation will only place our community at greater risk for racially-motivated attacks.

Story+Gallery+Audio: Finding hope amid the sorrow and loss

Since Saturday I’ve been struggling. I’ve begun to lose all hope in humanity. A man, who I will not dignify by using his name, came to our city, to El Paso, and murdered twenty-two people, and injured over two dozen more.

El Paso has been a very safe city for long time. Then, one person with ill intent, changed that.

I was born in El Paso, entered the world at Hotel Dieu back in 1970. Born and raised here. No matter what part of town I’ve been in – the Segundo Barrio, the Devils Triangle, anywhere really – I’ve felt safe. I’ve never worried for my safety.

Why should I? El Paso is a town of respect, love, caring, compassion, kindness. Now, since August 3rd, we are in pain, and I’m looking for hope.

I don’t have the answers on reigniting hope, or even where to find hope for myself. However, I will share with you what others have said. Maybe, just maybe, we can find hope together.

“You know, El Paso is a resilient city,” says Representative Cesar Blanco. “You know, we are, I think today’s images, of this memorial demonstrates how important and how El Paso is united.”

Rep. Blanco is right. Just standing there, at the memorial site, watching strangers come together speaks volumes of how united we are. In unity there is strength, and for many, the seeds of hope.

“I think just the unity and the love that our community has for one another is going to get us through this tragedy. So, I think that’s the hope in this,” says Rep. Blanco.

Miguel Munoz, director of the music ministry at Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care spoke of faith.

“The best way to find hope is by reading the Bible,” says Miguel. “The Bible specifically tells us that in Jesus Christ, we do find the hope in Him. If there’s any problem, any situation that’s going on in your life, He does tell you, focus on me and I will help you. He doesn’t say that I will get rid of it: I will help you get through it.”

I made a point of speaking to Miguel because the motto, one of the guiding principals for YLM is Changing Lives Through Simple Acts of Kindness.

At YLM Rev. Karl Heimer, Rev. Stephen Heimer, and Miguel have always said that something as simple as a smile or saying “hello” can be a simple act of kindness that could change someone’s life.

I asked Miguel how we could apply the YLM motto to what we have suffered as a community.

“Well, by being more loving, just like Jesus is,” says Miguel. “Helping them understand that they are not alone, that they’re not the only ones that feel that way, that other people feel the same way too. And that all we have to do is just stick together as a nation.”

“Just do it,” says Ben Carnevale of Sun City Live Streams. “Every day you do what you have to do. You have to grocery shop; you have no choice but to do it. It’s like jumping into a swimming pool, some people take their time to get used to the water, some people just jump right in.”

“It’s hard,” says Ann Hernandez. “When things like this happen, I think it’s only natural to ask why. Our lives as we know it has completely changed. I know I’m extremely anxious and going anywhere in public is hard for me. Especially with my son. But we must move forward. God gives us the strength to go on. Though our faith and hope might falter, His never does.”

“I have been adopted by this amazing city, by it’s people, and become part of the dynamic that is El Paso,” says Amin Abdul Razzaq. “Here, in this amazing city, no one belittles me for being Muslim, or a journalist. No one makes fun of me because of my accent. There is a spirit of acceptance here, a spirit of openness and togetherness that is a blessing from God to El Paso. That is a place to found hope: the blessing that is El Paso.”

Amin is right. In El Paso there is openness, togetherness, and those are blessings indeed.

“Look at what El Paso is doing! That is hope!” says Cyndi Rains “Blood donors, food donors, funeral donors, childcare donors, painters, t-shirt makers, people! That’s hope! We are alive and will go forward! NO ONE WILL BREAK EL PASO!”

I may not be able to find hope as quickly as some. I lost a very close family friend at the hands of this monster, this terrorist. I can’t yet bring myself to enter large buildings, much less a Walmart. For the moment, crowds petrify me once again. But each of the people I have spoken to today have begun to find hope and were eager to share that with me.

Over the coming weeks and months, you and I will find hope and strength together and we’ll be stronger for it.

I wanted to leave the closing thought in this piece to Matt Gonzalez of The Boy Who Had 7 Talks Comic Books. For me, Matt, like Miguel Munoz, is one of the people I turn to when I need real answers.

“The pain that we feel when we experience loss is so terrible because the joy that we experienced when we were together was so wonderful,” says Matt Gonzalez. “To have that violently ripped away from us makes us stop and think about life and all its facets. I think we can find hope in the fact that we will see our loved ones again. And because we will see them again that hope must drive us to make the world a better place in their memory. The relationships we still have must be full of more compassion. More love. More time spent together. Because there are other precious relationships that need us. And since tomorrow is never promised we must live today with all our hearts. We must be good so the mark we leave behind benefits the world.”

***

How do you find hope? Let me know at steven@epheraldpost.com

 

Ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to El Paso where 22 are dead, the president tells Beto O’Rourke to be “quiet”

President Donald Trump lashed out at Beto O’Rourke late Tuesday night, saying the Democratic presidential candidate and former congressman from El Paso should “be quiet” about the deadly shooting in his hometown.

The Twitter missive came hours before Trump was set to visit the city, which is reeling from the massacre Saturday at a Walmart that left 22 people dead and more than two dozen wounded. Along with other El Paso Democrats, O’Rourke has linked the shooting to Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and said the president should not visit.

The accused gunman, from Allen outside of Dallas, allegedly left a racist manifesto that described the attack as a “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Federal officials have catalogued the massacre as domestic terrorism.

“Beto (phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage) O’Rourke, who is embarrassed by my last visit to the Great State of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement – & be quiet!” Trump tweeted.

“Beto” is a Spanish nickname that O’Rourke has had since his childhood.

Trump was last in El Paso in February, when he held a campaign rally and O’Rourke headlined a dueling event. The president’s campaign has yet to reimburse the city more than $470,000 for police and public safety services associated with his rally. O’Rourke has since paid what he owed the city for his rally. Trump also visited Texas last year to hold a rally in Houston with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz when O’Rourke was running against him.

Trump is scheduled to touch down early Wednesday afternoon in El Paso and stay for a few hours. The White House has not released any details about what he plans to do there.

Around the time Trump arrives in El Paso, O’Rourke is scheduled to attend an event “to honor those lives lost, confront President Trump and white supremacy, and demand responsible gun control.”

Author:  PATRICK SVITEK – The Texas Tribune

UPDATES 8/6: President Trump to visit Wednesday; O’Rourke responds; El Dorado HS to hold ‘Morning of Remembrance ‘

This story will serve as an update for the events, comments and other information that comes into our newsroom on Tuesday.

8/6 UPDATE 10:00 p.m.

President to visit El Paso Wednesday

White House officials confirmed that President Donald Trump would be visiting El Paso, making time for patients still in the hospital from Saturday’s mass shooting and visiting the growing makeshift memorial overlooking the shooting site.

Officials have not publicly released the time of the President’s arrival, nor his itinerary while in the city.

This will be the President’s second visit to the Sun City, the first occurring back in February when he hosted a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum.

Beto Pens First Letter to Supporters on El Paso

EL PASO, TXToday, Beto penned his first letter to supporters since returning to El Paso. He stressed the importance of Americans showing up for this moment, saying, “We are all in this together. Unless we make it harder for people to kill, unless we stop this racism and fear, unless we stop seeing our differences as dangerous, unless we hold those in the highest positions of public trust accountable — this violence will find every one of us, sooner or later.”

The full letter follows.

I am so proud of my hometown of El Paso. Always have been.

I tell our story wherever I go. This place of immigrants, of people from all over the planet, who came here to do better for themselves and to do better for this country. I tell people about how we are one of the safest cities in the United States. Nearly 700,000 people and we’ve averaged only 18 murders a year.

And I make sure that people know that those two things are connected. It is the very presence of immigrants and asylum seekers and refugees that has made us so safe. We don’t just tolerate our differences, we embrace them. We treat each other with the dignity and respect we are owed as human beings. It is the foundation of our success and our safety.

I’ve always thought the example set by El Paso could offer a path forward for a country that is so consumed by our differences and our divisions.

Si queremos asegurar nuestro país, I often say, necesitamos seguir el ejemplo de El Paso.

But on Saturday, we realized that we can take no comfort in our safety, in our ability to see the best in each other by seeing ourselves in one another. That, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

Though El Paso is a safe community, we are part of a country that is violent. A country that has failed to adopt laws that would allow us to perform a background check on everyone who wants to own a firearm. One that still allows weapons designed for war to be sold into our communities. We lost 40,000 of our fellow Americans to gun violence last year — inexplicable but for the stranglehold that the gun lobby has on Congress and the White House, and the fear that our elected representatives have of the NRA.

And though we are a city that prides itself as a home of immigrants, we live in America at a moment that the President seeks to make us afraid of immigrants, to see them as animals and rapists and killers, a threat to our very lives. An invasion that must be stopped. An infestation that must be stamped out.

At a rally in Florida in May, President Trump asked how America could stop immigrants from coming into the country.

“Shoot them!” someone yelled back.

As the crowd roared their approval, the President smiled.

That violence, that hatred, that fear found us on Saturday. Drove more than 600 miles to a community that is 85% Mexican-American. A community of first- and second-generation immigrants. It walked into one of the busiest Walmarts in the country, full of families from El Paso and our sister city of Ciudad Juarez and killed 22 people. A 90-year old man shot dead next to the wife he’d been married to for 70 years. A 15 year old boy about to start his sophomore year in high school. Young parents, both of them murdered, as they shielded their 2-month old son.

Death and suffering. Pain and devastation. Families grieving an indescribable loss.

But this terrorist, echoing the words of Donald Trump and hosts on Fox News in his manifesto, will fail to achieve his aims of stopping America from being America. A country of immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees. A country which 243 years ago chose to define itself not along lines of race or ethnicity but instead on the principle that we are all created equal.

This hatred and violence won’t define us. The people I’ve met at University Medical Center and Del Sol Hospital, shot in the chest, in the stomach, in the back, in the leg, in the arm, in the foot, all of them meeting their pain with courage will do that. All of them recovering as they receive the care and help they need from their fellow El Pasoans. Lines around the block at blood donation centers. Vigils of thousands throughout the community, in Central El Paso, on the eastside, and over in Horizon.

Though on Saturday, El Paso bore the brunt of the hatred and violence in this country, I believe our community also holds some of the answers. Not just to our pain and challenges, but to those of the country.

Because we now know first hand that no physical distance, no set of circumstances unique to your community, can separate you from what is happening to all of us in this country. We are all in this together. Unless we make it harder for people to kill, unless we stop this racism and fear, unless we stop seeing our differences as dangerous, unless we hold those in the highest positions of public trust accountable — this violence will find everyone of us, sooner or later.

It is on all of us to stand up and be counted, especially when we feel the consequences of America at its worst, to fight for this country to be its best.

That is the spirit of El Paso, a city where everyone belongs. And the hope I have for America is that we become a country like that too.

Beto

***

Morning of Remembrance at El Dorado High School
El Dorado High School
12401 Edgemere Blvd
El Paso, TX 79938
7:30 AM MT

***

8/6 UPDATE 5:00 p.m.

Border Network for Human Rights, ACLU of Texas, Mexicanos en el exilio, El Paso Musicians United and Paso del Sur co-host ‘El Paso Strong’ event Wednesday 1230 to 2pm

Border Network for Human Rights, Women’s March El Paso and many other community organizations are inviting residents to join them tomorrow for #ElPasoFirme / #ElPasoStrong community action to honor those lives lost, confront President Trump and white supremacy, and demand responsible gun control.

WHAT: #ElPasoFirme / #ElPasoStrong Community Action
WHEN: TOMORROW WEDNESDAY AUGUST 7TH
WHERE: WASHINGTON PARK (4201 E. Paisano Dr)

“El Paso was targeted for the horrific shooting because we are a welcoming city that advocates for immigrant families. We were targeted for fighting against the dehumanization of our immigrant brothers and sisters, for pushing back against the criminalization of our border and for denouncing President Trump’s attempts to paint our communities as something they’re not. President Trump is not welcome in El Paso and his narrative around immigrants and Central Americans should not be welcome anywhere.”

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Local artists to hold Art Show Fundraiser Sunday

Creatives from around the borderland will be hosting an art show Sunday, August 11 at the ArtSpace Gallery, located at 601 North Oregon.

The show will run from Noon to 10 p.m. and will feature many local artists and funds collected from the art auction will be donated to the El Paso Community Foundation Victims’ fund

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Macy’s activates state-wide campaign to benefit El Paso victims

Macy’s customers and colleagues throughout the state of Texas have the opportunity to support those affected by the El Paso tragedy

Macy’s has also donated $20,000 to the Paso del Norte Community Foundation to help support immediate needs of victims and their families

Macy’s is committed to strengthening the El Paso community as they begin the recovery and healing process following the recent tragic events that took place this past weekend. From now through Tuesday, August 20, all Macy’s stores in the state of Texas will offer customers the opportunity to round-up their in-store purchase to the nearest dollar (up to $.99) to benefit the El Paso Victims Relief Fund, established by the Paso del Norte Community Foundation.

100 percent of all funds raised will benefit victims and their families affected by the recent tragedy.

Additionally, to assist the community’s immediate needs, Macy’s has donated $20,000 to Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s El Paso Victims Relief Fund. The relief fund will support paying medical bills, provide mental health counseling, offer scholarships for children and their families as well as additional victims’ needs that may evolve.

This is just the start. Macy’s will continue to work with the El Paso community to identify meaningful ways to support our neighbors and friends impacted by this tragedy.

***

8/6 UPDATE 2:00 p.m.

UMC, EPCH GIVE STATUS OF PATIENTS

University Medical Center of El Paso and El Paso Children’s Hospital today provided an update on the patients treated at each hospital as a result of the mass casualty shooting at an El Paso Walmart on Aug. 3.

The following is an update regarding the 15 patients brought to University Medical Center of El Paso as a result of the mass casualty shooting:

2 children were transferred from University Medical Center to El Paso Children’s Hospital on Aug. 3 with non-life threatening injuries and discharged by El Paso Children’s Hospital Aug. 4

3 adult patients have been discharged from University Medical Center

1 adult patient was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at University Medical Center on Aug. 3

5 adult patients remain in critical condition and are receiving treatment in University Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit

4 adult patients are in stable but serious condition at University Medical Center

Another update will be provided as appropriate or when there is a significant change in status of these patients.

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8/6 UPDATE 12:00 Noon

Papal Message to Bishop Seitz and the People of El Paso

The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin has sent a direct message of support from the Holy Father, Pope Francis to Bishop Mark J. Seitz and the people of El Paso. The message on behalf of the Holy Father is as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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United Way of El Paso County asks for support of victims’ funds following tragedy

As a means to directly support the immediate needs of victims and their families, United Way of El Paso County is asking for support of the Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s El Paso Victims Relief Fund as well as the El Paso Community Foundation’s El Paso Shooting Victims’ Fund.

“Our United Way recognizes that this horrific crime will have a lasting domino effect on our community and its residents,” said United Way President & CEO Deborah A. Zuloaga. “We want to make sure that the agencies providing these much-needed services have the resources to assist with resiliency efforts past the initial weeks following these unimaginable circumstances.”

United Way of El Paso County also announced the creation of the El Paso Community Assistance Fund focused on long-term support for the entire county. Both the Paso del Norte Community Foundation and the El Paso Community Foundation will host the option to donate to United Way’s El Paso Community Assistance Fund.

The El Paso Community Assistance Fund addresses what is expected to be a lengthy healing process for many individuals in our community. The United Way has a nearly 100-year history of supporting the needs of El Pasoans and plans to continue to use that strength to ensure access to a wide-range of services that help families process and navigate the tragedy’s aftermath. Funds are meant to rebuild the resources and capacity of local partners offering services including crisis counseling, emergency food and shelter, disaster response, and other needs as they arise. In addition, the United Way will also coordinate volunteer efforts, when needed and asked.

 

Funds providing immediate relief to victims & families:

Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s El Paso Victims Relief Fund

El Paso Community Foundation’s El Paso Shooting Victims’ Fund

 

Fund providing long-term assistance to the community:

United Way’s El Paso Community Assistance Fund

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COMMUNITY EN ACCIÓN COMBATS HATE AND CREATES A SCHOLASHIP FUND FOR CHILDREN OF FALLEN VICTIMS

We, at Community En Acción (CEA), a non-profit organization of non-partisan Latino business leaders who live and work in El Paso, offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of Saturday’s tragic event, and our entire beloved community that is reeling from this tremendous loss.

As a nation of immigrants, we must stand united to reject a culture and narrative of hate. At CEA, we choose to demonstrate respect for El Paso, its people, its diversity and its resilience. We will not let animosity change who we are—a vibrant, welcoming and generous community. Instead, we will continue to focus on developing a strong, proud and productive next generation of leaders by celebrating our diverse heritage and the gift it is to our city, this region and our nation.

To the children who lost parents due to this tragedy, we embrace them as our own; they are part of a broader family. We believe in them and the many contributions they will make to our society. For these reasons, Community En Acción has partnered with Paso Del Norte Community Foundation to establish a scholarship fund for the minor children of victims who lost their lives, with special emphasis on children who lost both parents by this senseless tragedy. By doing so, we choose to replace hate with love, and tragedy with triumph. We are El Paso Strong, now and always.

To make a donation to the CEA scholarship fund, please go online, or send your checks or money orders to CEA at 814 Wyoming, El Paso, Texas, 79902, with the designation, “Orphans Scholarship.”

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Tenet Healthcare Foundation Makes $100,000 Contribution  in Support of El Paso Community

Tenet Healthcare Corporation, through The Tenet Healthcare Foundation, is making a $100,000 donation to the El Paso Community Foundation to provide support to victims and families in El Paso following the tragic events on August 3. With 5,300 team members in the community, Tenet operates four acute care hospitals under The Hospitals of Providence brand and over 50 outpatient centers, physician clinics and other care facilities.

Ron Rittenmeyer, Executive Chairman and CEO, said, “This devastating event has caused an inconceivable amount of pain and grief for the entire El Paso community. We salute the efforts of the El Paso Community Foundation to provide support during this time of sadness and loss. We also want to extend our gratitude to all the caregivers in El Paso, including our employees, as well as other community hospitals, first responders and local law enforcement for their efforts to care for victims and their families during this tragedy.”

The $100,000 contribution is being made on behalf of The Hospitals of Providence and Tenet’s United Surgical Partners International and Conifer Health Solutions subsidiaries, all of which have operations and employees in greater El Paso. In addition to the $100,000 donation, The Tenet Healthcare Foundation will match employee contributions to the El Paso Community Foundation up to $50,000. Both the $100,000 contribution and employee match are being directed to the El Paso Community Foundation’s Shooting Victims’ Relief Fund.

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8/6 UPDATE 10:00 a.m.

Del Sol Medical Center statement

“Following the mass shooting on Saturday in El Paso, Texas, 11 victims were transported and treated at Del Sol Medical Center. As of August 6, 2019, at 10 a.m. six patients remain in this hospital, with one in critical condition and five in stable condition.

“I continue to be inspired by the tireless dedication of all the caregivers here at Del Sol Medical Center and across El Paso.”

–David Shimp, chief executive officer of Del Sol Medical Center

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FBI:  Family Assistance Center Opens at the El Paso Convention Center

The El Paso City-County Office of Emergency Management and the American Red Cross are opening a Family Assistance Center (FAC) at the El Paso Convention Center, located at 1 Civic Center Plaza, in downtown El Paso.

It will be opened from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Resources and services will be provided by public and private organizations. Parking fees will be waived for individuals visiting the FAC.

If you have a vehicle that was left at the Walmart parking lot by Cielo Vista Mall, please visit the Family Assistance Center to claim your vehicle.

In order to claim your vehicle, you must bring a set of keys, identification, proof of ownership, and insurance.

If you can not come down in person to claim your vehicle, written permission must be provided if the person that comes down to the FAC is not the registered owner.

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$100,000 check presentation for El Paso Victims Relief Fund

The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo tribe presented Mica Short, Vice President of Development for the Paso del Norte Community Foundation with a check for $100,000 to the El Paso Victims Relief Fund within the Paso del Norte Community Foundation.

Additionally, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo will donate to the fund all revenue generated from the Clint Black concert, planned for August 15, 2019 at Speaking Rock.

Every single dollar produced from that event will be donated to the El Paso Victims Relief Fund.

 

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‘El Paso Legends’ Charity football match set for Sunday at SISD’s SAC

All SBFC players, families and friends- let’s get out there Sunday to support our soccer community!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8/6 UPDATE 9:00 a.m.

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Statement from Women’s March Co-Founder Carmen Perez on Trump-Inspired Massacre in El Paso

“22 people were massacred at an El Paso Walmart this Saturday in a reprehensible act of white supremacist violence. I am haunted by the fact that I myself visited that Walmart when I was in El Paso less than a week ago, protesting the border policies of a president supported by this terrorist.

As a Chicana, and the daughter of a Mexican immigrant, I still have family just across the border from El Paso. I grieve deeply for the eight Mexican citizens who died tragically Saturday.

As a Latinx civil rights leader, I demand action. Our families are indigenous to this land, while we are targeted for violence by a President who calls us “illegal” and denies our humanity. There is a direct connection between President Trump’s rhetoric and the act of racial violence that took 22 lives in El Paso.

This President’s bigotry has incited violence, and he must be held accountable.”

-Carmen Perez, President and CEO of The Gathering for Justice, Co-Founder of the Women’s March and Latinx Civil Rights Activist.

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Sun City Motorplex has invited all area car clubs, car enthusiasts, off-roaders and all residents to an event this Friday night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Join Horses Unlimited Rescue and Education Center Inc., for a Memorial Ride on Saturday, Aug. 10

Memorial Ride will be a 2-hour trail ride, $20 per person proceeds to benefit victims.  For more information contact Horses Unlimited at (915)491-7563.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This has been the darkest time in the history of our beloved city and now it is time to give back. SoundFuzion Entertainment will be partnering up with our brother company Catfish Karaoke Co. and will be accepting donations to benefit the families which were affected on Saturday. I chose to open my own karaoke company so that I could unite people every night through their songs so now I ask ever

Gallery: Memorial held in Horizon City for student killed in Walmart mass shooting

On a warm, high desert night, Horizon High’s Emperor Stadium became a place of peace and remembrance as hundreds attended a memorial service for Javier Amir Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, a former HHS student who would have been a sophomore this year, was among the 22 people killed Saturday morning at the Cielo Vista Walmart mass shooting.

Far from the violence and terror of that day, family, friends, teachers, residents and dignitaries attended the service to celebrate Javier’s life and to console each other.

Rodriguez’s family has started a GoFundMe account to assist in the costs during their hour of need.  To donate, click here.

Photo gallery by Kevin Venegas, Photojournalist, El Paso Herald Post

Gallery: Thousands gather to remember victims of Walmart shooting

Sunday night, thousands of El Pasoans from all walks of life made their way to a baseball diamond in a park less than a mile from Saturday’s mass shooting, to remember the victims and to honor those who helped during the incident.

In the summer dusk, the crowd gathered, prayed, sung and heard stories from those who were there and those who helped.

Our very own Andres Acosta was at the ceremony and we bring you his view of the even in this gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

Story+Gallery: Time to stop. Time to share hope

Saturday was a defining point in my life. As a man walked through an El Paso Walmart, taking the lives of twenty people and injuring over two dozen more, I’ve realized I simply cannot chase after these kinds of stories any longer.

I’ll explain.

When I arrived at Cielo Vista Mall, and began speaking with other reporters and photographers I noticed their actions and how they thrusted for that one perfect witness to explain it all to the masses who want blood and violence.

Everyone, if they were in the Walmart or not were approached. “What did you see,” asked some reporters. “Did you see the gunman,” asked others. It went on from there.

Watching the other reporters work, I noticed that not even one of them stopped and asked if the people were okay or if they needed to talk with anyone other than a reporter. It broke my heart.

So far, twenty people have lost their lives. Families have been broken. Parents and children will never come home, and all we cared about was getting a damn quote.

As I was walking to the media section, I stopped and spoke with every officer I encountered, ever first responder, every civilian standing on a sidewalk to see if they were okay, if they needed anything. Am I the only one that does this? I understand that we have a job, a function to deliver facts to the world at large, but we are also human.

We need to stop, step back, and not think about the damn story for a moment and think about people, lives, the lasting impact this will have on El Paso. The lasting impact this will have on the people that were in the Walmart, the witnesses, the families. What about them? Is a soundbite for the next news break more important than how that person is feeling?

I’ve been doing this for a very long time. I have seen the aftermath of shootings, of lives and families torn apart. I have seen police officers take a suspect down, shoot them, and seen how that has affected that officer and his family. I’ve seen it all- I’ve covered over 6k acts of violence, and I am done.

Over the next week, I will be following up on a few points from today’s events, and then I am stepping back from this kind of news. I can’t take it any longer; I can’t stomach it anymore.

From here I’ll only be focusing on the positive, on what makes a lasting change, on hope.

I want to share our hope.

Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
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EP ELEC 2019 728×729