Memorial Gardens Park Fly ‘Odessa Strong’ Flags In Honor of Mass Shooting
It's hard to believe that it has been 2 years since the mass shooting happened in the Odessa-Midland area, but with the anniversary coming up tomorrow, Memorial Gardens Park is flying "Odessa Strong" flags in honor of the victims of the mass shooting.
According to NewsWest 9, the City of Odessa put up the flags last year for the first anniversary and this year also and future years to come to honor those who lost their lives in the mass shooting that happened on August 31, 2019.
City officials say the flags are their way of remembering the lives lost and injured two years ago.
"Everyone feels differently about what happened that day," said Renee Earls, CEO for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. "Some people don't want to talk about it, some people do want to talk about it. We have respect for all of that. These flags are here to honor those we lost and those who were injured because we will never forget them."
Earls said the importance is to never forget the lives impacted on that day.
"We have seven flags that have the names of those we lost," said Earls. "They were fathers, they were children, they were sisters. It's important our community remembers and never forgets the sacrifice they made."
Earls memories include the difficult task of comforting a grieving family in the days that followed the tragedy.
"I will remember meeting with each family member through the donation process of money, and making and sure they were taken care of," said Earls. "It was a very personal event for everyone involved that day."
Earls stated the flags are not there to remember the tragedy but to show the strength and resilience of the community.
The flags will be at the park till September 7, 2021.