ODESSA, Texas — August 31st changed the very fabric of our community.

Six months later, the events of that day are still raw, but each day forward brings healing.

“At that time, we saw the very worst of humanity, but we also saw some of the very best of humanity,” Odessa Mayor David Turner said.

In the days immediately following, our community did the one thing West Texans know how to do: unite.

“In West Texas, you have to be tough,” Mayor Turner said.

“This is such a wonderful community and to have a tragedy like this hit, it’s affected everyone of us, from the arts community to the law enforcement community, to our community leaders. I think we’re all numb and we’re all looking for some kind of constructive, positive message to send out about who we are, but also for ourselves that this will not define us,” said Carlos Trejo-Fuentes when attending a prayer vigil.

But rather, our actions defining our true character.

From brewing coffee for first responders out on crime scenes to selling lemonade to raise money for victims and giving up a cemetery plot, West Texans took action to help a community in mourning.

“That just keeps me going to know that I can at least bring a little bit of happiness in this time of tragedy,” CPL Ray’s barista Kelsey Ellis said.

Six months later, we know this to be true:

“Citizens of Odessa, Midland, and the Permian Basin, we will get through this tragedy by moving forward one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time, and one year at a time. We will show our beloved state and the nation what it means to be #permianbasinstrong,” Mayor Turner said.

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