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City of El Paso to build new, permanent memorial to Aug. 3 victims

Stephanie Valle

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- As the city marks a fourth year since the deadly massacre at the Cielo Vista Walmart, ABC-7 looked into the city's plans for a permanent memorial dedicated to the Aug. 3 victims and survivors.

The County of El Paso dedicated the Healing Garden at Ascarate Park on the second anniversary of the shooting, during which 23 people were killed and 22 wounded. The semi-circle wall is adorned with bronze plaques that each have a name of a victim, and are illuminated at night.

Walmart unveiled the Grand Candela memorial in Nov. 2019 at the store where the shooting occurred. The memorial is a large, golden metal structure resembling a candle, installed near the edge of the parking lot closest to Gateway Blvd. West.

The El Paso Strong Memorial at Ponder Park is listed as "temporary." Photo: Stephanie Valle

Currently, there is a metal quad-fold wall at the corner of Ponder Park, near the intersection of Sunmount Drive and Viscount Boulevard, less than half a mile north of the Walmart where the shooting occurred. It's covered in hand-tied orange ribbons. A city marker behind the wall indicated that it is a temporary memorial, but this has been in place since shortly after the shooting.

ABC-7 asked the city about the future for a memorial, and officials said a permanent structure will be built on that footprint at the park, by the Brio bus stop on Viscount.

Renderings show it will consist of a circular plaza surrounded by landscaping and seating, with seven granite engraved monoliths placed in the center. There will be a dedication to the victims, and the names of all 23 people who died will be engraved on the monoliths.

Rendering of the permanent memorial to the Aug. 3 shooting victims provided by the City of El Paso

Construction is anticipated to begin this fall and the city hopes to complete it by 2024.

Local artist Tino Ortega will create the plaza. The expected cost is $470,000, funded by the Quality of Life bond.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Stephanie Valle

Stephanie Valle co-anchors ABC-7 at 5, 6 and 10 weeknights.


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