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Home | Tag Archives: #ElPasoStrong

Tag Archives: #ElPasoStrong

Digital Memorial to honor victims of August 3 Shooting on Digital Wall

On Tuesday, the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department announced that they created a Digital Memorial to honor the victims of the August 3rd shooting at Walmart on the Digital Wall of the El Paso Museum of History.  

“This digital documentation signifies the importance and accessibility for archiving history that is occurring in this very moment,” said El Paso Museum of History Director Vladimir von Tsurikov. “This memorial will not only provide healing to community members that submit their photographs for the archive but will also serve as a capsule to preserve and record this detrimental time in El Paso history.”

Staff members with the museum of history encourage the community to submit their photos or videos to the digital memorial at www.DIGIE.org.

The submissions can commemorate the lives and legacies of the victims, moments of vigils and memorials, or community events that supported the El Paso Shooting Victims Fund.

The digital memorial can be accessed on the wall by touching the blooming Mexican Gold Poppies that have been added to the El Paso Cityscape. In many cultures, poppies symbolize consolation for a loss or death in the family, remembering the fallen, and resurrection and eternal life.

The Mexican Gold Poppy was chosen for the Digital Wall Memorial because it is native to the El Paso region. In the spring, the poppies blanket the Franklin Mountains.

Photos must be in jpeg, png or gif and no larger than 10 megabytes when submitted. Videos must be no longer than 3 minutes. The files should be a mov, avi or mp4 video and no larger than 50 megabytes.

Residents who have trouble uploading files can email digitalwall@elpasotexas.gov.

The Digital Memorial is currently on view and available for public contribution.

September Streetcar fares waived; City to collect donations for El Paso Strong Memorial

El Paso Streetcar officials announced that starting Tuesday, September 3, the fares for the will be waived in order to encourage ridership. Simultaneously, the City will be collecting donations for the development of a permanent El Paso Strong Memorial.

“Our region is united in the effort to develop a place of healing and support for everyone impacted by the recent horrific act of violence. I’m confident our El Paso Streetcar riders will welcome the El Paso Strong Ride project as an opportunity to support the creation of a memorial of local, regional and national significance that will celebrate life and condemn racism,” said Tracey Jerome, Managing Director of Museum and Cultural Affairs, Libraries and Tourism.

In an effort to encourage people to ride the El Paso Streetcar, the fares will be waived throughout September.  In addition, riders will have the opportunity to donate via the streetcar fare boxes to the El Paso Strong Ride Project, a fundraising effort in support of the development of a permanent memorial to honor the victims and survivors of the domestic terrorism attack on August 3.

The City of El Paso is working with public and private organizations to develop a permanent memorial honoring the victims and survivors of the attack.

The El Paso Streetcar will accept donations of any amount via its fare boxes.

The El Paso Strong Ride project follows a series of summer special events designed to encourage the public to rediscover downtown and uptown by riding the historic streetcars.

The El Paso Streetcar operates Sunday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to midnight, and Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Riders can plan their trips by using an app that provides real-time information on the location of all streetcars in service along the nearly 5-mile route.  The app is free and available from Google Play and the Apple App store.

For more information about the El Paso Streetcar visit the website,  call (915) 212-3333, ‘like’ their Facebook page or follow them Instagram.

Traveling to El Paso to deliver love

Chris Lowe felt a gravitational pull to El Paso as she drove her Fall Forward Across America RV throughout the southern portion of the United States.

The trip, which hopes to instill a desire in people to perform 22 random act of kindness, began on July 26 and took a detour toward the Sun City after the attack on the El Paso Walmart on August 3.

“This RV is about kindness and the energy behind it,” she said. “I felt compelled to come here knowing that this town needed to know there are kind people in the world thinking about them. Everything just brought me here.”

Lowe, a Florida native, chose the number 22 for the acts of kindness even before the attack in El Paso which killed 22 people. The 22 represents the age her son would have been when she began her mission to spread love throughout the country.

Inspired by media reports of two EPISD teachers who asked strangers from throughout the world to show kindness to their students by sending them notes of support via mail,  Lowe drove into Tom Lea Elementary on Friday.

She was joined by Tara Ijai of Love Glasses Revolution, who donated hundreds of heart-shaped sunglasses to students at Tom Lea and Hillside Elementary.

Tom Lea fourth-grade teacher Teresa Garrett had partnered with Hillside Elementary teacher Elvira Flores on the notes of love project, which has continued to draw thousands of letters from across the globe to the school.

Both Lowe and Ijai had already visited Hillside. Lowe challenged students to do random acts of kindness – big or small – and explained how this movement can have a ripple effect throughout the community.

“When you’re kind to other people — no matter what is happening in the world — you can change someone’s life,” Lowe said, echoing the message she shared with the students. “You could change someone’s day or change someone’s thoughts. Just one little kind gesture or comment can really change someone’s whole life.”

Benefactors of her cross-country trek have gotten a full tank of gas, gift cards, coffee, lottery tickets and simple gestures of opening the door, smiling, compliments and kind words. She gave students headbands and wrist bands as reminders of her visit and challenge to do at least one act of kindness a day.

“If you think about what you could do for others, it makes your problems seem less significant,”  said Lowe, who began her journey in her home state of Florida. “The more you do it, the more you inspire others to do it and it becomes a wave of kindness.”

Along her journey through Arizona, she met Ijai who spreads love through her heart-shaped sunglasses. Ijai had only traveled throughout her state of Arizona gifting her sunglasses but felt a call to El Paso knowing the city craved her message.

“We want to show solidarity, love and support for those who need it,” she said, smiling at the sea of students sporting the heart-shaped glasses. “The teachers were asking for postcards but we felt we could do more.”

A few minutes before Lowe arrived, students received their glasses and quickly put them on — a reminder of their kindness and perfect shade from the hot summer sun. Ijai’s husband Adnane Ijai designed all the glasses and created selections in different colors and themes –all shaped in their signature heart frame.

“We are going to consistently rebel against hate and negativity,” Tara Ijai said. “Someone drove hours to deliver hate. We felt the natural antidote was to drive hours to El Paso to deliver love.”

The students gathered for photos showing off their new shades – the tag still hanging from most.

“These are the best glasses in the world,” said fourth-grader Kai. “They’re cool.”

His classmates appreciated the gesture and knowing people care about them and their city.

“I think it’s nice because of what happened in our city,” said Madison Miller, a fourth-grader. “It makes me feel protected in the United States of America. It makes me feel happy. I like the glasses a lot.”

Garrett is grateful for the Ijais and Lowe visit and the response the school has received from throughout the world. She spends hours every night reading and categorizing postcards and messages before sharing with students.

“You can’t put it into words,” she said. “The children are thrilled every single day and they are paying it forward. It’s been such an outpouring of love. Good people are truly still here. They outnumber the bad people and I think we’ve seen that.”

Story by Reneé de Santos   |  Photos by Leonel Monroy  – EPISD

Story in Many Pics: Saturday night’s ‘El Paso Strong’ High School football event

As the region continues to recover from the events of August 3rd, a special event was held at historic R.R. Jones Stadium, on the campus of El Paso High School, Saturday night.

Organized by the Greater El Paso Football Showcase and Prep1, scores of football players from around the area took to the field and grandstands, replete in their respective school colors, to show the city and the world that everyone here is ‘El Paso Strong.’

Our very own Johnny Yturales was there and we bring you his view of the event in this ‘Story in Many Pics’

Panda Cares Foundation donates $104k+ to El Paso Victims Relief Fund

Officials with Panda Cares Foundation – the charitable arm of the restaurant Panda Express – announced the results of their donation drive for the El Paso Shooting Victims’ fund.

Panda Cares has been collecting donations over the past two weeks via the 12 Panda Express stores in El Paso.

In addition to the funds collected, Panda Caress agreed to match up to $100K in benefit of the victims and families affected by the tragic shooting on August 3.

To-date, the Panda Cares Foundation has collected $52,384 from guest donations in the El Paso locations for the #ElPasoStrong campaign, with the Panda Cares matching, the foundation will donate a total of $104,768 to the El Paso Victims Relief Fund.

“At Panda Express, they treat the communities around their stores like family,” Britania Weinstein, a member of Panda’s outreach team, shared via an email. “[and] with giving as one of Panda’s core values they want to do their part to honor the victims and support the families whose loved ones lost their lives or were injured in the shooting.”

For more information about the Panda Cares Foundation, click here.

Chihuahuas to Host El Paso Strong Night this Saturday

Officials with the El Paso Chihuahuas announced Tuesday that the team would hold an ‘El Paso Strong Night,’ a celebration of the El Paso community and a commemoration of those victims of the August 3rd tragedy.

El Paso Strong Night will take place on Saturday, August 24, 2019 when the Chihuahuas take on the Sacramento River Cats (San Francisco Giants affiliate).

A portion of each fundraising ticket sold will go back to the Paso del Norte’s El Paso Victims Fund. The link to the ticket here.  The night’s 50/50 raffle will also benefit the Victims Fund.

The first 7,000 fans through the gates will receive an El Paso Strong rally towel. During the game there will be a special moment of silence for the crowd to “stand united.”

The game will also feature a postgame fireworks spectacular choreographed to music and songs that highlight the city of El Paso.

As part of the night, the Chihuahuas will auction off the caps worn by the San Diego Padres during their August 8th batting practice. All proceeds will benefit the El Paso Victim’s Fund.

The Chihuahuas have partnered with Text to Engage, a local mobile phone auction company for the 2019 season. The mobile auction will begin 12 p.m. Saturday and will conclude at 12 p.m. Tuesday.

The game will also feature the national anthem and the color guard by the Border Patrol, the honoring of first responders and a moment of silence for the victims and their families.

More announcements will be forthcoming.

Gallery+Video: Widower Antonio Basco given new SUV by Team Casa Dealerships

In the span of just two weeks, Antonio Basco has lived the range of emotions many will never experience.

On August 3rd, Basco’s wife, Margie Reckard, was shot and killed during the Walmart shooting.  In the hours and days after the shooting, it came to be known that Basco had no family in town to attend Margie’s service, so he invited entire community to her services.

And El Pasoans came out.

As thousands of fellow El Pasoans grieved with Basco, sometime Saturday night his work truck and tools were stolen.  The truck was returned, wrecked and vandalized on Sunday.

Enter El Pasoans once again.

With the support of the Team Casa family of dealerships, an anonymous person who donated a new power washer to him, a trailer donated by Desert Haven and various car accessories donated by AutoZone – Basco was given the keys to a brand-new Ford on Monday afternoon.

Our very own Johnny Yturrales was there and we bring you his view of the special donations in this gallery.  Video below is courtesy Casa Ford / Facebook

Gallery+Story: Messages of love from all over the world arrive at 2 EPISD schools

What began as a simple request of kindness from two EPISD teachers following the tragic attack on El Paso earlier this month has turned into an international movement of support for students.

After the shootings at the Cielo Vista Walmart of  August 3, Hillside Elementary teacher Elvira Flores and Tom Lea Elementary teacher Teresa Garrett made a simple request on their personal Facebook pages: Send our students postcards with supportive messages so that they feel loved and calm as the school year begins.

What followed was a whirlwind of responses that span the city, state, country and even the globe.

“It’s been overwhelming. I can’t even put it into words,” said Garrett, who has spent hours trying to respond to every email and Facebook message she has received.

She has not had time to count how many people have reached out to her, but she believes it is in the thousands.

“People are sending us postcards, letters, messages and even items for our kids,” Garrett added. “It’s just proof that the world is populated with wonderful individuals who care about people, even if they don’t’ know them personally.”

Flores has had a similar response at Hillside, and the school has been swarmed with hundreds of letters and packages to the delight of students.

One donor even provided heart-shaped sunglasses for every student in the school.

“My goal with this request was to let my kids know that there are other voices out there other than the voice from the man who attacked our city,” Flores said. “I wanted them to hear a message of love from the majority of the people in this beautiful world.”

Story by Gustavo Reveles  |  Photos by Leonel Monroy  – EPISD

Vikki Carr, Little Joe to headline ‘El Paso Strong Benefit Concert’ at Coliseum

El Paso native and immensely popular singer Vikki Carr will be returning to the Sun City to take part in a special benefit concert at the El Paso County Coliseum, organizers announced Friday morning.

Carr will join a lineup of well-liked borderland artists at the CommUNITY en Acción El Paso Strong Benefit Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, August 25, at the Coliseum, located at 4100 East Paisano.

Proceeds will be donated to the Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s El Paso Victims Relief Fund to support the victims of the August 3 shooting.

Also taking the stage will be Little Joe y la Familia, Los Rieleros del Norte, Mike Gonzalez y Mazz Tribute, Dirty River Boys, Archie Bell, Rick Trevino, Fusion 915 and Mariachi Los Toritos.

For the last six decades, El Paso-born Carr has been one of the world’s foremost classic entertainers. She has released more 60 best-selling recordings, won three Grammy Awards and has been honored with a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Covering a variety of genres, from her first love of jazz, to mainstream pop and country, her pioneering crossover into Latin music solidified her international stardom.

The 78-year-old television, stage and film actress, who also is a dedicated philanthropist, continues to perform across the country.

Little Joe Hernandez, 78, born in Temple, Texas, has long been a favorite in the El Paso area. He has entertained crowds around the world for more than 60 years, on 70 albums and in countless shows.

Little Joe y la Familia has won two Grammy Awards and one Latin Grammy Award.

Tickets are $20 and $50, plus fees, and are available at the El Paso County Coliseum Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000 and online.

CommUNITY en Acción is a non-profit organization of business and civic leaders, united in the purpose to improve the lives of El Paso’s Latino community. It has partnered with the foundation to establish a scholarship fund for the minor children of shooting victims who lost their lives.

Gallery+Story: Two Cities, One Heart

“Tu eres, la tristeza de mis ojos, y lloran en silencio por tu amor.”  – Amor Eterno, Juan Gabriel

Two cities, one shared culture.  One shared heartache.

Those were the words and sentiments that were echoed by Texas and Mexican politicians on Wednesday evening during the El Paso Memorial event at Southwest University Stadium.

Hundreds filled Southwest University Park to mourn, grieve, find solace, honor and most of all remember the 22 victims who were shot and killed by a gunman on August 3 at Walmart near Cielo Vista.

Many donned the now-iconic El Paso Strong Shirt.  One man in particular wore a shirt that read, “It’s Okay Gringo, I’m legal.”

Guests included, among others, Texas Governor Greg Abbott; Mexico’s Deputy Foreign Minister for North America Jesus Seade; Governor of Chihuahua, Mexico Javier Corral, Mayor of Juarez, Armando Cabada; and El Paso Mayor Dee Margo.

Mayor Dee Margo recalled the tragedy and the bravery that took place on August 3.

“This evil is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before,” Margo said. “Though, we can’t let our pain overwhelm and change who we are. Though our disparity may seem insurmountable, our love and compassion from our region is even greater. Hate will never define us.”

Luminarias in the shapes of 22 glowing stars and 9 glowing circles decorated the field honoring the victims of the El Paso and the Dayton, Ohio shooting respectively.

Governor Abbott opened with a message of unity and a promise that hate crimes would not be tolerated in Texas.

“Texas grieves with you for the 22 innocent people who senselessly killed in this cowardly attack,” Abbott said. “We pray for those who continue to recover from their injuries. As we gather tonight we still cannot comprehend the evil that struck El Paso 11 days ago. The magnitude of the hate and racism, the sheer evil behind the act that took so many people – we grapple with why good people would be taken from us so soon.  We may never fully understand the evil in this world or the hatred behind it – but here is what we do know. We know this evil will not overcome us”

Abbott closed with a invocation as Governor of Texas to form a domestic terrorism taskforce to combat extremism and violence in Texas.

Following Abbott was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico – Undersecretary for North America Jesus Seade who echoed Abbott’s message about unity aimed at Hispanics.

“You are our binational future,” Seade said. “Our values have no color, no race, no cultural division. Let us walk together toward a world in which all minorities are equally respected.”

Chihuahua Governor Corral reminded the crowd that El Paso and Juarez were not just a binational community in financial endeavors but our commonalities reach far beyond enterprise and business.

“When we talk about El Paso and Juarez, we talk about a binational community that understands and assumes diversity and its plurality like something natural because are a neighbor – and because of these familiar ties we have become family, brothers,” Corral said in Spanish.

“Because we alone don’t just share common businesses or industries or going to Walmart for groceries – we also share a culture, music, economy and most importantly – language and family. This community, I tell you – it’s necessary that the hurt and the pain we feel for the loss of our loved ones should not be converted into hate. This attack, by this man, should not build mistrust between us because then we are losing twice and we are giving him a triumph that he doesn’t deserve.”

Corral, and Juarez Mayor Armando Cabada asked that everyone fend off any feelings of fear or division.

“The community of Juarez and El Paso is a community that is binational…and a community of immigrants that is always united,” Corral said. “Fear will never break the ties that our ancestors have sown for us.”

He then described the community as one that, like a large family, takes care of each other.

“In moments of hurt we hug each other, we hold each other’s hands and we continue forward,” he said.  Cabada reminded everyone that when we are born we do not have thoughts of racism, these, he said, are taught.

“Last Saturday, El Paso and Juarez experienced the most profound pain that a society could experience,” he said. “ Death, the loss of human lives. Innocent people died solely for the color of their skin or just for looking Hispanic. There are some that say they died at the hands of a white supremacist. I think that the true assassin was hate and ignorance.”

Cabada shared how many don’t understand the border of El Paso and its cohesiveness with Juarez, Mexico.

“They don’t understand that we are one community, two cities united by a river,” Cabada said. “The family ties of these cities have consoled each other and continue to grow stronger as time goes on. That’s why together we need to construct a society that is more just; that permits us to develop into human beings that treat one another with dignity. We ought to build a community where the actions are more important than the color of our skin – that our words matter more than the language.”

Cabada then quoted the Declaration of Independence in Spanish and asked that everyone remember those words that gave life to the United States.

“Sostenemos que estas verdades son evidentes, que todos los hombres son creasdos iguales, que su Creador les otogra ciertos derechos inalienables, entre los que se encuentran la vida, la libertad y la busqueda de la Felicidad.” – We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

As a dust storm blew in, the ceremony continued, and the names of the 22 were called out.

Andre Anchondo
Jordan Anchondo
Arturo Benavidez
Leonard Cipeda Campos
Maria Flores
Raul Flores
Jorge Calvillo
Adolfo Cerros
Alexander Gerhard Hoffman
David Alvah Johnson
Luis Alfonzo Juárez
María Eugenia Legarreta
Elsa Libera Márquez
Maribel Loya
Ivan Filiberto Manzano
Gloria Irma Marquez
Margie Reckard
Sara Esther Regalado
Javier Rodríguez
Teresa Sánchez
Angelina Silva-Elisbee
Juan Velázquez

Following the names was the mournful sound of bagpipes playing, “Amazing Grace.”

Many began to exit the stadium, calmly and solemnly – when suddenly, and in true El Paso and Juarez fashion, the Mariachi Alegre group entered the stage and began to sing.

The crowd cheered as the instruments and Juan Gabriel’s “Amor Eterno” introduction blasted through the speakers, fighting with the wind.

Many who had risen from their seats to head out, turned around and stopped and began to sing and cry.

As if on cue – the song the speakers were shut off but the Mariachis continued to play. The trumpet continued to ring through and the crowd carried the song.

“Pero como quisiera, que tu vivieras, que tus ojitos jamas se hubieran cerrada nunca, y estar mirandonos amor eterno e involidable tarde o temprano estare contigo para seguir amandonos.” – But how I wish, that you lived; that your little eyes had never closed and instead be looking at us with eternal and invincible love; sooner or later I will be with you so we can continue loving each other.

Let us not forget what happened on August 3, Cabada said.

“We will always remember August 3, for those of us who don’t remember our history are condemned to repeat it.”

“Let’s continue to love each other and care for each other El Paso and Juarez. We are sister cities, hermanos, and as such we need to heal together.”

Author: Alex Hinojosa | Photo Gallery: Johnny Yturrales – El Paso Herald Post

UTEP Athletics Announces #ElPasoStrong Campaign,Will include all Fall sports

Following the tragedy in the Sun City on August 3, UTEP Athletic Department officials have announced the #ElPasoStrong campaign, to be spread over two months and encompassing home events for football, men’s basketball, soccer and volleyball.

“Anyone who has spent even the slightest bit of time in our great community has been touched by the warm, loving and welcoming nature of El Pasoans,” Director of Athletics Jim Senter said.

“The events of Aug. 3rd left us shaken, but it hasn’t deterred our spirit.  Our objective is to not only pay tribute to the victims of this senseless violence, but to celebrate all things that make El Paso so wonderful – including the efforts of the first responders and other heroes in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.”

The #ElPasoStrong campaign will kick off at the soccer team’s season opener versus Wyoming on August 22 at University Field (7 p.m.), and continue at the football season opener against Houston Baptist on August 31 in the Sun Bowl (6 p.m.), and the volleyball season opener versus Coppin State on September 6 at Memorial Gym (10 a.m.).

In addition, the Miner men’s basketball team will battle 2019 national runner-up Texas Tech in an exhibition game at the Don Haskins Center on October 12 (7 p.m.), with all proceeds being donated to a local non-profit supporting the victims of the August 3 tragedy.

The UTEP football team will wear #ElPasoStrong decals on their helmets throughout the duration of the 2019 season, beginning against Houston Baptist on August 31.

The HBU game will include recognition of the victims and heroes of the August 3 tragedy as well as a halftime celebration of “Everything El Paso” including performances by the UTEP band, cheer and spirit teams, as well as other special appearances.

The football game will be held in conjunction with a busy weekend of #ElPasoStrong events on the UTEP campus, with Minerpalooza slated for Friday, August 30 and a Khalid benefit concert scheduled for Sunday, September 1 in the Don Haskins Center.

The basketball exhibition will also feature a celebration of El Paso.  All tickets will be $10 with general admission (first come/first served) seating.

The exhibition game is not part of the 2019-20 season ticket package as all proceeds will benefit a local non-profit supporting the victims of the tragedy in El Paso.

Tickets are on sale now at the UTEP Ticket Center, located at 2901 North Mesa next to the Don Haskins Center and the UTEP Ticket Center East Side location, located at 1452 Zaragoza Suite A-1500.

Tickets can also be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234 as well as online.  Parking for the exhibition game will not be reserved and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

In addition, all UTEP student athletes will wear #ElPasoStrong warmup t-shirts prior to their 2019-20 home events.

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine donates $100K for scholarships to El Paso Victims’ Education Fund

In wake of the devastating El Paso shooting that left 22 dead on August 3, the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) is giving $100,000 to support future scholarships for children who were affected by the massacre.

“We are deeply saddened about the tragic shooting in our sister city, El Paso,” says BCOM President, John Hummer. “With so many of our faculty, staff and students connected to El Paso — this truly hits close to home.”

Dozens of BCOM students, faculty and staff call El Paso home and regularly commute between Las Cruces, NM, and El Paso, TX.

“Our hearts are especially heavy for the children and teens who have lost a loved one,” Hummer says. “We hope this gift will help ease any future worries they have about their education; please know that the BCOM family is behind you and is here to help.”

The gift will go directly to the El Paso Community Foundation Victims’ Education Fund, which was established to provide tuition assistance and related expenses for university, college, trade or vocational school.

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.

We Remember. We Honor. We Move Forward, Together

Andre Anchondo
Jordan Anchondo
Arturo Benavidez
Leonard Cipeda Campos
Maria Flores
Raul Flores
Jorge Calvillo
Adolfo Cerros
Alexander Gerhard Hoffman
David Alvah Johnson
Luis Alfonzo Juárez
María Eugenia Legarreta
Elsa Libera Márquez
Maribel Loya
Ivan Filiberto Manzano
Gloria Irma Marquez
Margie Reckard
Sara Esther Regalado
Javier Rodríguez
Teresa Sánchez
Angelina Silva-Elisbee
Juan Velázquez

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

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

$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.”

***

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

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