One Year Ago There Was A Saturday Morning – August 3, 2019
One year ago, there was a Saturday morning.
People were sleeping in late, watering their yards, washing their cars, watching their kids play soccer games, planning for back to school, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, drinking coffee, making dinner plans, getting a haircut, making a to do list.
One year ago, there was a Saturday morning. Twenty-three people were at the Cielo Vista Walmart. Twenty-two would die within days. One would die months later.
What has happened since that Saturday morning? Families dealt with the glare of the media spotlight. Families buried their dead. Families sorrow and grief were played out in front of their friends and family until everyone had to get back to their regular lives. Then those families had to deal with their grief in private.
One year ago, there was a Saturday morning that we will never forget. Today, we remember those who were lost.
Jordan and Andre Anchondo were back-to-school shopping and died protecting their infant son.
Arturo Benavides was a Sun Metro driver and Army veteran.
Leo Campos and Maribel Hernandez's family found out they had died after their dog groomer called to say they hadn't picked up their dog.
Angie Englisbee was in the checkout line at 10:31 when the shooting started and her life ended.
Dave Johnson, his wife, and granddaughter were shopping. He died trying to protect them.
Javier Amir Rodriguez was 15 years old. His life was cut short, but it was filled with sports, family, and friends.
Margie Reckard left behind her grieving husband Antonio Basco who has struggled in the aftermath of her death.
Jorge Calvillo García was from Torreón, Mexico and visiting family. He tried to shield his granddaughter and her teammates from the gunfire as they raised money outside the Walmart.
Juan Velazquez and his wife Nicolasa were shot in the parking lot. Juan passed away two days later leaving behind Nicolasa and their 6 children and 15 grandchildren.
Sara Esther Regalado and Adolfo Cerros Hernández were from Mexico, two of so many Mexican nationals who were shopping that day.
Elsa Mendoza de la Mora was a teacher and director of an elementary school.
Gloria Irma Márquez was from Juarez, another Mexican national shopping like so many others.
María Eugenia Legarreta Rothe from Chihuahua, Ivan Filiberto Manzano from Ciudad Juarez, US citizens Maria and Raul Flores, German citizen Alexander Gerhard Hoffman, US citizen Luis Alfonzo Juarez, and Mexican national Teresa Sanchez were also among those who were killed.
Guillermo 'Memo' Garcia would die nine months later. He would never leave the hospital. He was with his daughter's soccer team as they fundraised in front of the Walmart as so many other teams had done on so many other Saturday mornings.
One year ago, there was a Saturday morning. One year ago, there was a Saturday morning.
Today, we still mourn those lost. Tomorrow, we will still mourn those lost. We will never forget.
May they rest in peace.
May their families find peace.