El Paso is trying to get over the events of August 3, 2019. That is day that a man from the Dallas area walked into the Cielo Vista Walmart and began shooting people who were doing nothing more than shopping. There were parents, children, grandparents, husbands and wives in the store that day, and 22 perished. They were killed because, as the shooter has told El Paso Police officers, he wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible.

This is not the kind of history any of us wanted. We don't want to have to think of our city, our families, or our lives as 'before the Walmart terrorist attack', and 'after the Walmart terrorist attack', but that's how many of us will feel for the rest of our lives. Eventually, we will get back to normal. Some of us will go back to shopping at that Walmart if it ever reopens. We won't cringe as hard as we do right now when we drive past the site on the freeway or on Viscount. The news will fade from the front page. It happened after 9/11. We still remember, but the shock and pain of the day will eventually be replaced by resignation and the feeling of a 'new normal.'

Because we will one day have to educate our kids and grandkids about this horrific day, the El Paso County Historical Society has announced their El Paso Strong Archival Initiative. The Initiative will gather and preserve the stories of those who died in the Walmart on August 3, 2019. The Society would like to gather photos, oral histories from the loved ones of the those who were killed, social media posts, artwork, and any digital or physical artifacts related to August 3, 2019.

I can assure you that the Society will take very good care of any artifacts you might want to donate. They will catalog and preserve any artifacts not only for future generations, but to honor the victims of this tragedy. The items will be held at the Burges House, the headquarters of the El Paso County Historical Society, at 603 W. Yandell. The Society has been preserving and archiving El Paso history for 65 years.

The Society also would like to speak to any El Pasoan who was affected by the tragedy. Our city was shattered by this horrible act. If you would like to record your feelings about that day, please contact the Society. Call 915-533-3603 if you have any questions about donating items or would like to provide an oral history. You can also email any questions to epchs@elpasohistory.com.

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