LUBBOCK, Texas — The motorcycle group ‘Ride to Heal Our Brothers and Sisters’ stopped in Lubbock at Market Street on 50th and Indiana Wednesday afternoon to have first responders and others sign a Texas flag for the El Paso Walmart memorial.
They did this in solidarity with first responders and survivors following the mass shooting that happened on August 3.
Michael Gomez is one of the riders delivering the flag to El Paso. He said he has now faced two mass shootings.
“I’t’s like you took a wound and just ripped off a scab that I believed was just starting to heal right,” Gomez said.
Gomez responded to the Sutherland Springs shooting as a paramedic, and was born in raised in El Paso.
“It’s home,” Gomez said.
Gomez said he wants to help first responders in El Paso heal.
“I refuse to allow my brothers and sisters to be forgotten,” Gomez said.
Gomez has already driven throughout Texas, beginning his journey in Sutherland Springs. The group then drove through Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas.
The flag will then travel to Midland and Odessa, then Fort Stockton before being delivered to El Paso on Friday.
“People are very thankful for what we’re doing,” Gomez said.
The group brought two flags, one for first responders to sign and the other for supporters.
“It’s not about who’s right, who’s wrong, left, right, guns, this, that. Just take a step back and look at the bigger picture,” Gomez said. “Thank an officer or a firemen or a paramedic or an EMT. That they’ll truly look at them and appreciate what they’re willing to do, what they’re willing to go through.”
Gary Boyles with Marketstreet said the group stopping by is a meaningful gesture.
“We as citizens get together and support the victims and the families of all the victims,” Boyles said.
Valerie Herrera and her husband, shoppers at Marketstreet, said they were heading into El Paso when the shooting happened. She said she was born there and her husband lived there for several years.
“When we got there, a couple hours after the shooting, we realized the city was very different, it wasn’t its normal self,” said Ray Herrera, the husband.
The couple stopped to sign the flag in support.
“To see that beauty of so many people coming together, is wonderful,” Valerie said.
Gomez said he hopes to make the journey every year to honor first responders. He said once he delivers the flag, he will also meet with first responders in El Paso for an informal debriefing.