On August 3, 2019, the community of El Paso was shattered by a mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart. On that horrible day, 22 people were killed, and 27 were injured. In the days and weeks since the terrorist attack there has been a lot of speculation about what would happen at the Walmart site. Should it reopen? Should it be razed and a park be put in its place? Should there be a memorial on the site? What kind of memorial? How big? In the store or outside of the store?

A lot of El Pasoans feel that the store should never open and say that they will never shop there again. There are just as many El Pasoans who say they are ready to go back to shopping at the Cielo Vista Walmart.

Walmart officials announced about a month ago that it would be about three to four months before the redesigned and restored store would reopen, and today we are learning that the Cielo Vista store has a target open date of November 6. I spoke to Delia Garcia, Sr. Director of Communications for Walmart on Thursday afternoon. She told me:

“Construction work on the Cielo Vista Walmart is progressing smoothly and we are currently working toward re-opening the store on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Our associates will be completing their temporary store assignments over the next few weeks and returning to the Cielo Vista location in early October to help prepare their store to serve the community again. Additionally, we are finalizing design plans for a permanent memorial on-site that will honor the victims and convey a message of unity. We look forward to sharing additional details about the store’s re-opening and construction of the memorial in the coming weeks.”

The Cielo Vista Walmart will reopen. It will be difficult for some in our community, but we cannot let the murderer win. To have destroyed the building and left the land open would have been an empty space that would only serve as a reminder of what happened there. We are a neighborhood. We are a community. We need gathering places. Walmart was, and will be that again. I'm glad it's coming back.

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