Twenty-two families will spend the holidays without their loved ones after the El Paso Walmart shooting, but one family’s light display is reminding everyone that the city is “El Paso Strong.”
Tony Olguin decorated his house in El Paso with 22 angels to honor the 22 victims of the August shooting at a Walmart. There are 22 Christmas trees on display. 22 red bows. 22 candy canes.
“We kept thinking about how there will be 22 families who won’t have their loved ones together,” Olguin told CNN on Friday. “We felt we wanted to do something to show our respect to honor the victims of the shooting here at Walmart.”
His family wanted to do something to honor the victims. Olguin had previously worked at the Cielo Vista Walmart, so it hits him close to home. He is a manager for Walmart, and he was transferred to a different store before the shooting.
“The associates, the managers, I knew them all,” he said.
For the past 10 years, Olguin and his family have had a large holiday lights display. Every year it has grown bigger and bigger. They knew they wanted to do something different this year.
He started by spelling out “El Paso Strong” on the side of the house with Christmas lights. His family also made an “El Paso Strong” sign to light up in the yard. Then they added the angels, candy canes and trees to symbolize the victims.
Decorating began in October and just finished up this week.
“This year, we decided the whole night display was in memory of the victims and for the families who lost a loved one,” Olguin said. “We did a lot of decorations that were for that purpose.”
When people come by the house, Olguin said they thank him for honoring the victims.
“They come by and say they really enjoy it,” he said. “It’s a nice gesture that we just wanted to do for the community.”