• Mariana Sierra

Together We Remember, Together We Heal (Episode 3)

Updated: Sep 2


I guess I want to start off by saying this—I always find strength when I open myself to the possibility that I’m not alone, that everyone, at some point feels a similar way. The tragedy of August 3rd affected every El Pasoan at some capacity and the one-year mark can revoke unresolved feelings. In past episodes we’ve learned that healing looks different for everyone. “It’s not linear,” said our guest Celeste Nevarez from Emergence Health Network.

For this episode we wanted to share the stories of two local leaders to potentially find comfort and strength in their own experiences as they navigate the one-year mark.

Mayor Dee Margo and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego joined me on United & Resilient and throughout this episode they share with us what happened the day that marked so many hearts of El Pasoan’s hearts, what have they learned since and what the road ahead looks like.

We also discuss the importance of giving ourselves the permission to feel. Whatever that means to you, feel it, express it.

El Paso, an Unknown Jewel - Mayor Dee Margo

Mayor Dee Margo often calls our city an unknown jewel. In my conversation with him he shared with me all the demographics and specifics, but we both came to the conclusion that you have to visit El Paso to really understand what we’re all about.

On August 3rd, 2019, we all saw the Mayor leading press briefings, giving interviews for the national and local media, giving a speeches at a couple memorials and vigils. But as I saw him, I wondered—how is he feeling? How is he processing this tragedy as a Mayor but most importantly, as an El Pasoan, as a human being?

Throughout this episode Mayor Margo recalled August 3rd with us and shares his side of the story. Mayor Dee shares with us his deep love for El Paso. He says, El Paso gave our Mayor roots and a home.

The Greatest Little Town in the United States - County Judge Ricardo Samaniego

The County Judge is a native El Pasoan, who was born and raised in our beautiful frontera. His career path took him many places, to many different jobs with different backgrounds and responsibilities, but being County Judge has been the culmination of his career. When I asked the County Judge what he loved most about El Paso, he answered, “That people always ask you, where did you go to high school?” He loves that some way or another we are all connected, or we look for ways to be connected. Truly we are all united.

As County Judge Samaniego, recalled Augusts 3rd, 2019, he shared with me how having a good relationship with his mental health was an important factor during that day. Throughout our conversation we spoke about the importance of knowing what’s the best coping method for each of us. His way of coping and processing this tragedy was helping out as much as he could. However, at some point he just had to let his emotions flow.

In our conversation we spoke about the meaning of resilience during these difficult times. “Resiliency to me is having that sense that you’ll be able to accomplish. Resiliency comes from recognition and awareness of our capabilities to deal with moments like this.”

The lives of El Pasoans were forever changed by the August 3rd, 2019 tragedy, but as we navigate our journey to long-term recovery, we can recognize that we are all one and together we will heal.

Together We Remember, Together We Heal

There’s a lot of power in asking for help. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or depressed, please do not hesitate to reach out to our staff at the FRC. It is okay if we don’t feel strong all the time, but we can feel united.

Press play and take a listen to learn more.

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