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Vanessa Guillen memorial gate unveiled at Fort Hood

KILLEEN, Texas — Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s life is being honored at Fort Hood Monday afternoon when a gate is unveiled at the post.

Guillen’s family members, who were part of the design process, are attending.

The memory gate was first announced last November, five months after the Houston native’s remains were found on June 30, 2020.

Guillen was killed at Fort Hood after she went missing on April 22, 2020. She was bludgeoned to death by Spc. Aaron Robinson, who killed himself on July 1 as police were trying to take him into custody.

Guillen’s family has said Robinson had sexually harassed her, but the Army has said there is no evidence supporting the claim.

Still, those who visit Fort Hood or work there will soon see Guillen’s name etched there permanently.

When describing the gate last November, Fort Hood’s commanding general, Lt. Gen. Pat White III, said it would lead to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment area where Guillen served.

It’s also accessed by thousands of soldiers, civilians and families every day. The Guillen family added the memorial shows the new command at Fort Hood listened to their concerns.

“They paid attention and it means a lot compared to the first couple of months that we had to struggle so much to find her,” said Lupe Guillen, Vanessa’s sister, last year.

The family’s attorney, Natalie Khawam, also expressed how significant it is to have the gate bearing Guillen’s name.

“They could have easily said, ‘We don’t want this out there… we don’t want to be known for this blood stain.’ But rather, it’s the opposite. They didn’t try to sweep it under the rug. They put it, visibly, right in front of the gate of the base. So every day they have to remember Vanessa. They have to remember what happened here so it never happens again,” Khawam said.

“That is so important. And it was very symbolic. They explained to us how they are putting this gate outside and if you walk a straight line, you walk into Vanessa’s barracks,” she continued. “It’s important that we walk the straight line. We never let this happen again.”

After the gate dedication ceremony, Guillen’s family and Fort Hood leadership plan to speak.

FROM NOVEMBER 2020: The full statements from the Guillen family and their attorney are in the video below.

One of Guillen’s sisters shared in a tweet on Sunday that a series of events are lined up to honor her memory all week long, including introducing legislation to Congress and a virtual 5K run.

RELATED: Nancy Pelosi agrees to bring #IAmVanessaGuillen act to House floor

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