A San Antonio-based holiday decor installation company has donated a Christmas tree to El Paso International Airport to remember the victims of the Aug. 3 Walmart mass shooting.
Decor IQ handles holiday installations for several Texas cities. Owner Mark Metzger said they were planning the El Paso airport decorations when the shooting happened.
He said he and his business partner John Alban wanted to design a Christmas tree that would help the city heal. Metzger said Alban designed a 30-foot tree that honors the 22 victims.
"It's got 22 panels of light. Each unique panel is of different size. Each one points to the stars," he said.
He said a lot of work went into the tree.
“It was fabricated in Europe,” Metzger said. “It was shipped to Texas last week and we installed it here at our yard in San Antonio just to make sure everything went together and looked good. We disassembled it this week and we shipped it out to El Paso this week where we installed it.”
El Paso city officials said the tree was installed on Tuesday and will remain up through Jan. 7.
According to aviation statistics kept by the city, the airport handles an average of more than a quarter of a million passengers in the month of December. It is located eight miles east of downtown, off of I-10.
Metzger said his company is contracted by the city to do a lot of the Christmas decorations in downtown San Antonio, including the River Walk and the Pearl.