On August 3, 2019, the Cielo Vista Walmart became the scene of unimaginable terror when a man drove from the Dallas, Texas area and began shooting innocent people who were doing their Saturday shopping at the busy store.

In the days since the attack, people have created a memorial overlooking the Walmart parking lot. They have brought flowers, candles, signs, stuffed animals, and one man fashioned crosses with the names of each of the 22 people who were killed. Unfortunately, because of the El Paso heat and the fragile nature of fresh flowers, the memorial is in need of maintenance.

El Paso City Rep. Henry Rivera saw the need and has teamed up with the Zaragoza Rotary Club to keep the Cielo Vista Walmart temporary memorial maintained. Rivera's office said they want to make sure the community has a clean and well-kept memorial site.

The Rotary Club will remove wilting flowers from the commemorative site and take them to the El Paso Zoo. They will be recycled into compost and be used throughout the city. Rivera said that he is grateful to the Zaragoza Rotary Club because they came forward with the offer to maintain the Cielo Vista Walmart site. Rivera also gave credit to El Paso Zoo for their support to recycle the wilted flowers into compost.

Beginning this Friday, August 16, the Zaragoza Rotary Club will visit the site once a week to around 7 a.m. to keep the site maintained until City officials decide on a permanent memorial location.

I think this is a lovely gesture by the Zaragoza Rotary Club. Their efforts will help the site keep its purpose at the forefront by keeping the site from becoming filled with decaying flowers. It might be weeks before the Walmart site is returned to the company, and months or years before a permanent site for a memorial is settled. For the time being, the Rotarians help will help the Walmart memorial remain a place of honor to those who were affected by the tragedy, and help those who come to pay their respects to do so in an orderly, respectful space.

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