When The Bottom Line Shouldn’t Matter

Three Cities, Three States, Three Countries, ONE Community
Photo Credit: Mike Tipton

August 3rd will be a day in El Paso history that lasts forever for all the wrong reasons. 22 of our neighbors senselessly robbed of their lives, souls bursting toward the heavens due to the atrocious and henious acts of a monster. Wal-Mart was thrust into the picture because this horrid individual chose that location.

Wednesday, August 14th, the El Paso Police concluded their investigation into one of the most tragic days in El Paso’s history. The land and building was released back to Wal-Mart and the plan to continue, business as usual is more than likely in the works as we all strive for some sense of normalcy.

For days I, along with hundreds of thousands have lamented in sorrow, wondering what if and holding our family members closer to us. Days have felt like weeks, this past week, like a lifetime, searching for answers that will never be given, seeking for love in a city tormented by one hate filled act.

Ambassadors of Peace
Photo Credit: Mike Tipton

What do we do? How do we move on and carry the legacy of the people victimized and stolen from their bodies? What do we do to help heal?

Mayor Margo, City of El Paso and Wal-Mart, I implore you to do the right thing and tear down what is now a symbol of hate. Replace that cold empty building with life and rejuvenation. Create a place where we can go to celebrate the lives of our neighbors, friends and family ripped away from us. Tear down that building and build a memorial park.

The logistics of this feat will be a Herculean undertaking, it will not be easy for Wal-Mart to stand by and watch one of its busiest locations get torn down. The location, ideal. Perfectly placed between the free bridge and the closest Wal-Mart to Downtown El Paso, it would be easy to see why this one stop in particular was an amazing success. A store I, among a multitude of others, frequented often, even though I live in Socorro. However, the bottom line and money should not be the driving force here. The blood of our own spilled inside the doors of this store, the spirits released from their earthly body fell slain at the hands of a domestic terrorist.

Photo Credit: Mike Tipton

The building as it stands is a shrine of sorrow, hate and bigotry. The building as it stands is a monument to the pain and suffering of this city and those families impacted most by what happened. Out of the darkness we should bring a new light, a new day and Wal-Mart, a new location.

I implore those who are in charge, take into consideration the city that has rallied around one another, take into consideration the memorials placed along the side of the road as we all try to come to terms with what happened in our community on August 3rd. Set aside the bottom line and realize that some things are more important than money. Embrace this community and lift us up, not with low prices, but the roll back of your location and the sale of your property into a memorial park where we can celebrate the lives of those who should never be forgotten.

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