LANDGRAF: The best in Texas

By state representative Brooks Landgraf

Our nation often views Texas as a beacon of hope and I believe our great state can always look at the Permian Basin and its people as the best example of what it means to be Texan. On this day, it reminds me of how proud I am of Odessa and how much I love this city. I was born and raised here in Odessa, and I feel honored to serve your people in the Texas House of Representatives.

The people here are resilient, like a cactus. Odessa is a piece of dry desert that radiates with scorching heat just a natural tree or body of water in sight. We live in the harshest conditions, but we survive and prosper. We put our heads down and get to work, always with an undeniable grain.

It is the people who live there who make this place the most beautiful place on earth. Our hearts overflow with love for our families and pride in our victories. We place our faith in God Almighty and are always willing to help our brothers and sisters in times of need.

Two years ago, our community and our region were besieged by a force of evil and our collective strength was tested. A mobile fury indiscriminately killed innocent lives and left pain to countless families.

But in the face of such daunting darkness, the people of West Texas emerged as a bright light for everyone.

The first brave lifeguards risked their own lives to save the others, securing the safety of the wounded and neutralizing the shooter before even more damage could be done. Trauma teams from Hospital Medical Center, Odessa Regional Medical Center and Midland Memorial Hospital treated dozens of injured patients with a quiet efficiency that saved lives and allowed some families to reunite even earlier. that the sun set last August night.

Friendly people from all over this community gave everything they had, even their own blood, to help strangers and they did so without blinking an eye. The Permian Basin, surrounded by a fury of chaos and in the face of evil, remained strong and responded strongly in the true spirit of Texas.

Instead of letting us feel powerless, this tragic event fostered our determination and determination for a cause greater than ourselves. Many of you contacted me with ideas about implementing an “active trigger alert system,” similar to Amber Alerts, that could better inform the public and save lives in the process. The families of the victims moved forward bravely and were instrumental in making these ideas a reality.

The names of the lost will be etched in our hearts forever and will be part of the fabric of our community: Edwin Peregrino, Joseph Griffith, Kameron Brown, Leilah Hernandez, Mary Granados, Raul Garcia and Rodolfo Arco. In his memoir, I proudly introduced HB 103 during this year’s legislative session and, with the resistance of the Permian Basin, we succeeded in turning it into law.

HB 103 was named the Leilah Hernandez Act, after the youngest victim killed on that tragic day, and will require the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to develop and implement the active shooter alert system. Through the efforts of our community, we created changes that will improve public safety and save lives.

In the darkest moments, our strong-willed hearts and souls will always guide us, which is why the Permian Basin will always exemplify the best of Texas.

And this Tuesday, let’s not forget the survivors and families of the victims of 8/31/19.

God bless Texas!