Words cannot express the heartbreak and loss our community has encountered. In the face of despair, the entire Paso del Norte region stands together to honor those taken from us, to grieve, comfort and love one another as a united binational people.
Though our despair may seem insurmountable, the love and compassion from our region is even greater. Be reassured, hate will never overcome love. Hate will never define who we are.
We are one binational, bicultural and bilingual family with a history dating back 350 years. Our region has transcended borders by melding our culture, history and heritage. We are misunderstood because of our uniqueness.
We are successful because of our people. There is no area in North America like the El Paso-Juárez region; we are a distinctive multigenerational culture.
We stand at the intersection of three states and two countries. We are over 2.7 million strong. We will not be dismissed, denigrated or defined by evil. We will be defined by our people.
We are valiant. We are resilient. We are loving. We are compassionate. We are selfless.
We are the community that stands in lines for hours around buildings and into parking lots to donate blood. We are a region that raises $4.7 million and counting for the victims of this tragedy.
We are a people that unite together to fight back fear and hate. We accept those with different cultures and backgrounds, and together we celebrate our diversity. We are extraordinary. We are family.
We are the first responders, doctors and nurses that immediately acted to save the lives of others. We are Ruben Martinez, an 11-year-old who looks for ways to sow joy instead of sorrow. We are Customs and Border Protection Agent Donna Sifford, who courageously saved those injured and afraid.
Since taking office, I have said El Paso is an unknown jewel that people do not understand. The world just got a preview of our courage, our love and our strength.
Difficult days are ahead of us as we begin to heal, but as time passes and wounds begin to mend these days will get better.
The Bible teaches us, “Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.” Psalms 126:5
Trust in those words and know joy is on the horizon. We must be resilient and look to those around us for strength.
It is up to us to not let the world forget those who lost their lives. They represent generations of El Pasoans and Mexicans that have lived in unison and harmony throughout our 350-year history.
We must remain true to ourselves and not let hate take root in our lives. The Saturday attack will not change who we are.
Matthew 5 says, “You are the light of the world, a city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Our light will shine! You are safe. You are loved. We will persevere. We have hope! May God bless and comfort each of us. We are El Paso strong.