Community comes together to honor shooting victims - Brownsville Herald: Valley

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Community comes together to honor shooting victims

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Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:18 am

McALLEN — U.S. and Texas flags waved at half-mast behind a crowd of about 100 gathered Wednesday at Archer Park in McAllen to memorialize the victims of mass shootings last weekend in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.

The red, white and blue fabric whipped in the wind causing clicks as ropes hit the metal poles, which was audible between speakers at the vigil.

“ We cannot be silent ... in the face of such hatred like we’re facing today,” said Juanita Valdez-Cox, executive director of La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE).

It’s encouraging for community groups who organize events like this, she said, to see the people and groups within the Rio Grande Valley want to stand united, particularly a diverse group of faith leaders.

Representatives from various religious denominations were among those who spoke, like Paulette Gindler-Bishop with Temple Emanuel in McAllen.

“ It’s important for all of us to be here because white supremacists cannot become the norm in our land,” she said of the alleged motives of the El Paso shooter who drove across the state to gun down 23 in a Walmart store. “We all have to band together for the common good.

“ Good will triumph over evil every time, but good people have to come together for that to happen.”

She said that while it can be productive to engage and express things on social media, it’s extremely important to show up when you can and work in solidarity,” which is what brought Pastor Paul Ziese of First Lutheran in Edinburg.

He gave his condolences for the lives lost, but he always used the platform to express concern about attitudes and practices within current immigration policy. Just today, he said, hundreds of Lutherans gathered at a national conference marched to the Wisconsin Center to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Milwaukee.

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