August 3 Marks First Anniversary of El Paso Shooting
Today marks a year since a hate-fueled attack that ended the lives of 23 people in El Paso.
In the late morning of August 3, 2019, a 21-year-old white supremacist opened fire in the parking lot of a Walmart Supercenter on the east side of El Paso. He made his way inside the building and continued firing. According to a manifesto he published on a disgusting anonymous image board, his attack was meant to target Hispanics and draw attention to racist conspiracy theories he had embraced.
22 people were killed in a senseless act of hate. A 23rd victim who'd been hospitalized for months passed away in April of 2020.
The shooter remains in federal custody and has pleaded not guilty as he awaits trial.
Today is about remembering those lost.
Over the weekend, #ElPasoStrong was trending across social media. Many people visited the El Paso Memorial - a beautiful lighted sculpture erected at the site of the shooting and unveiled in November of 2019. The memorial resembles a candle and shines with a soft, golden glow. It's a beautiful reminder that we cannot let the darkness win.
Others stood with crosses bearing the names of victims.
August of 2019 feels like a lifetime ago as we experience the grueling trials of 2020. Some days it seems like hate and fear are winning. It certainly felt that way in the aftermath of the El Paso shooting.
As dark as these times are, I hope the glow of the El Paso Memorial and the outpouring of love we've seen over the weekend can stave off despair and remind us that we cannot let fear and hatred triumph. We've all got to do our best to be candles in the dark.