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Campaign Press Release - Joe Biden Recognizes the One Year Anniversary of the El Paso Massacre

August 03, 2020

Today, Joe Biden released a video HERE to recognize the one year anniversary of the El Paso massacre, share words of comfort with the grieving families, and recommit to the need to win the battle for the soul of the nation so that we can stop gun violence and white supremacy.

Below and HERE is a transcript of Vice President Biden's remarks:

One year ago, a gunman armed with twisted ideas and a semi-automatic rifle targeted the people of El Paso, and our most deeply held American values. He chose El Paso, because it is a city defined by its diversity. A city that celebrates its rich Hispanic heritage and its close friendship with the people of Ciudad Juarez. The gunman thought his hatred of Latinos and immigrants would prove more powerful than the culture and vibrancy of these communities strengthened by their connection. He was wrong.

I know how hard this year has been for the families of those 23 souls who died due to the shooting. It feels like you are being sucked into a big black hole in your chest that you are never going to be able to get out of. And every time you think about the soccer goals that young Javier won't get to score now, or about the pain of that infant who will never know his parents, and whose life is now a testament to their love and bravery, or just about the birthdays and holidays and celebrations and Saturdays that will never again be quite the same without them.

They were teachers and bus drivers. Grandfathers and children. Americans and Mexicans. Families just out running errands. Each a life of meaning and potential — and part of what makes El Paso so very special.

For those family members, the pain today may still feel as fresh as it did one year ago, knowing that what you lost is never going to be replaced. As hard as it is to believe, having been through this myself. The day will come when the memory of your loved one brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. That day will come. My prayer for you is that it comes to you sooner rather than later. But it will come.

For the rest of us, this anniversary is a moment to resummon the purpose we felt one year ago — and to recommit to the battle for the soul of this nation. A battle against the forces of white supremacy that are part of the very foundations of our nation — but which this president has encouraged and emboldened. A battle against the spread of hatred's poisonous ideas in every form.

And, a battle against the plague of gun violence that steals lives in horrific mass shootings, but also in the unreported tragedies of lives lost to gun violence every day. We have to get these weapons of war out of our communities — and hold accountable the gun manufacturers who do so much damage with impunity.

Last year, in the days that followed the El Paso shooting, I said that we as Americans must do what our current president can't: "Stand together. Stand against hate. Stand up for what – at our best – this nation believes."

Today, if anything, that charge feels even more urgent and important. We must unite to defend our values, our democracy -- the very idea of American democracy. This is our fight. And together — we will win it. Let's not forget that.

May God bless you all, and may God bless the people of El Paso.

Joseph R. Biden, Campaign Press Release - Joe Biden Recognizes the One Year Anniversary of the El Paso Massacre Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/345262

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