WHITTIER (CBSLA.com) – Two vigils were held Tuesday in Whittier and in Downtown Los Angeles to honor the victims killed in Friday’s attacks in Paris.
The first one took place at Whittier High School to honor Nohemi Gonzalez, who graduated from the school in 2010. She went on to Cal State Long Beach, where she was a senior majoring in industrial design.
The 23-year-old college student, who was studying abroad in Paris, was shot to death while having dinner with friends at a popular bistro called La Belle Equipe.
Her former high school counselor said Gonzalez was smart, driven, compassionate and a talented athlete.
Jackie Gonzalez cried as she remembered her cousin: “The last time I saw you was at your mom’s shop. And you were so happy when you were admitted as a candidate to travel to Paris. Mimi, I was so proud.”
“When something like that happens, it hits homes. Not just to one person, but our whole community,” said Gonzalez’s former counselor Matt Tremper.
“We should remember her as the person she was, always happy, always as an encourager. She was just so fearless,” said friend Kim Dominguez.
Gonzalez and the other victims in the Paris attacks were also remembered Tuesday night in Downtown Los Angeles. Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Consul General of France stood in solidarity in front of City Hall, which was lit up in the colors of the French flag.
“So many who live with us right here in Los Angeles, who mourn today the loss of family members, friends in this senseless violence. We are with you in your heartbreak and in your sadness tonight,” the mayor said.
Whether it was in Downtown L.A. or in Whittier, the message was the same: The victims will be missed but not forgotten.