El Paso Strong – Moving Forward Together
El Paso Moves Forward Together
By: Tanya Torres
El Paso, TX has always been a safe city where people came to raise families of their own here. It offers a unique way of life with being a border city to Juarez and being so close to New Mexico.
Walking around the city, you instantly feel safe even late at night in the downtown area. Although there is still crime that occurs here, it does not alter the safe image that the city presented to the residents until recently.
A hateful person came into our city and decided to harm innocent people despite being a stranger to us all. He did not care that he took loved ones away from their families; young and old. He did not care that these people never hurt him in any way, he just cared about making a point and completing his evil plan to kill our residents.
In less than a few hours, our city was at a standstill as we watched news channels relay the same message of a shooter entering Walmart and warning us to stay away from Cielo Vista. We received text messages and calls from friends and family checking to see if we were alive. When it was finally over, everything changed and people were rightfully angry, sad and scared.
Although it has been a few days since it has happened, this massacre has forever changed us. But it did not stop residents here from opening their hearts and attempting to help not only the victims of the shooting and their families but the entire city. They set up vigils, memorials and raised money to help with any costs the victims might have as a result of the shooting. Funeral homes offered free services, businesses sold items to donate money, food and water were offered. An 11-year-old boy created an El Paso challenge that encourages random act of kindness like saying to a random person something nice or paying for a person’s gas and so on. Even inmates at Otero County Prison Facility will be holding a baked potato sale to help the victims of the shooting.
The shooting was an unbearable day for El Paso residents which left a lot of people with a void in their hearts as a result of one person’s actions. This individual set out to harm our city and attempted to show our reactions of it in a bad light. He attempted to break us, but our city continues to move forward while never forgetting those who were taken away from their loved ones. Our city embraces love and is on a mission to help those who are hurting because that is what our city does.