El Paso leaders commemorate Aug. 3 anniversary

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A series of tributes will take place on Tuesday across the Borderland to commemorate the lives lost during the Aug. 3, 2019, mass shooting, while also honoring the resiliency of the community.

KTSM 9 News spoke with local leaders and elected officials ahead of the events that include a memorial bell tolling ceremony, a resilience exhibition, demonstrations from activists and more.

“There’s a bell-tolling event that’s going to be going on before our City Council meeting tomorrow with council members ringing a bell and reading the names of those who have passed,” said District 1 Council Member Peter Svarzbein.

You can watch the bell tolling ceremony in the player below:

Officials have been adamant to emphasize the racist motivations of the alleged shooter, who is still awaiting trial.

“We’re all in this together. This kind of attack was something that was very much inspired by hate, inspired by racism,” Svarzbein said.

The Border Network For Human Rights (BNHR) is hosting an event at Ponder Park that is a call to action against white supremacy, racism and xenophobia to amplify the continued social justice issues related to the attack.

“I still feel very compelled to speak out against hate, which in my view has gotten far worse,” said U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas).

Escobar will speak at the BNHR event, as well as take some private time to console the families of the victims before going to the Healing Garden Tuesday night.

The Healing Garden event on Tuesday will feature community members, leaders and special guests such as Dolores Huerta and Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard to honor those who were killed.

“It’s 23 portraits of all the victims done in a beautiful format,” County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said. “It’s an opportunity to show how we came out of a tragedy stronger. We want to show the rest of the country that we can unite and heal.”

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