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Former Walmart Employee Creates Light Display in Honor of 22 Lives Lost in El Paso Shooting

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There are many different ways to honor those who have been lost under tragic circumstances. When something as public as a shooting takes place, it hurts an entire community as well as the families of the victims.

Perhaps that’s why one man has decided to remember the victims of the El Paso shooting in a public way, inviting the community to join in to honor the lives lost.

Tony Olguin from El Paso, Texas, used to work at the Cielo Vista Walmart, according to KTSM-TV. He told the news outlet that he wanted to express both his sorrow and gratitude in a unique way.

“I’m really proud of the team, the management team at 2201, acting so brave in a situation like this,” he said. “So again this is something we also wanted to do for them as well.”

The Olguin family has become well-known for its Christmas displays. For ten years now they have put time and effort into creating a spectacular display — and this year’s design is no different.

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Starting in October, the Olguins began assembling their lights, choosing pieces very specifically and placing special emphasis on groupings of 22 for the number of people who were killed.

“5days lights come on!!” Tony Olguin wrote in a Facebook post. “Dedicated to the 22 innocent lives lost that terrible day 8/3/2019. 22candy canes 22Red Bows 22xmas trees 22lit up angel figures through out my light display.”

“Dedicated to the 22 families who wont have that loved one with them this Xmas and to my brave Walmart Family who acted with such bravery in the face of evil!! #ELPASOSTRONG!!!”

Olguin admitted that this year’s setup was a little different, considering the circumstances.

“Im not gonna lie,” he commented on his own post. “I was getting emotional putting this up. I keep hearing about everyone wanting all these gifts for Xmas..when there’s families out there just wishing they could be with their loved ones this Xmas season..May they find peace during these times…”

The yard and house are covered in decor, and the yard proudly displays an “El Paso Strong” banner just to make the display’s intent very clear. While everyone is invited to gaze upon the lights, Olguin expressed his desire that those personally affected by the shooting will take some comfort from their efforts.

“We wanted to give something back to the victims, to the families of the tragedy on August 3,” he told KTSM. “We wanted to let them know that we’re thinking of them, we’re with them during the holiday season.”

Even Brandon, the youngest member of the Olguin family, got in on the holiday spirit and helped with the preparation.

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“It’s cool and it’s good for the community,” the boy said in an interview.

“Thank you guys so much for the love and support!!!” Tony Olguin commented on his Facebook post. “Me and my family really are touched!!! Much love!! Happy Holidays to you all!!!!”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking