The image pays tribute to the 14 lives lost in the tragic San Bernardino mass shooting (Photo Courtesy: CNN)

As the anniversary of the heartbreaking events approaches, San Bernardino gears up to pay homage to the lives lost in the tragic 2015 mass shooting. The annual Day of Remembrance, scheduled for Saturday, December 2, at 3 p.m., will be held at Cal State San Bernardino’s Peace Garden, a place of solace and reflection in front of the Chemical Sciences building.

The memories of the 2015 incident, which occurred on December 2, remain deeply etched in the hearts of San Bernardino residents. The loss of 14 lives, including five esteemed alumni of Cal State San Bernardino, during the Inland Regional Center shooting, continues to have a lasting impact on the community.

CSUSB’s College of Natural Sciences extends a heartfelt invitation to everyone to join in this annual remembrance event. The gathering at the Peace Garden aims to honor all the victims of the tragic attack, with special recognition given to those connected to the CSUSB community. Notably, each of these victims was an alum of either the College of Natural Sciences’ biology or environmental health departments.

This solemn occasion stands as a tribute to the enduring legacies of these individuals:

  • Robert Adams: Known for his spirited commitment to positive change.
  • Juan Espinoza: Remembered for his profound contributions to the CSUSB family.
  • Shannon Johnson: Whose warmth and kindness touched countless lives.
  • Yvette Velasco: Honored for her unwavering pursuit of excellence.
  • Michael Wetzel: Remembered for his dedicated service and values.

Beyond commemorating these incredible individuals, the Day of Remembrance symbolizes unity against violence and intolerance. It serves as a moment for collective reflection on the strength of the San Bernardino community, offering support to friends and families grappling with the weight of loss.

A Solemn Seven-Year Commemoration

Seven years after the 2015 San Bernardino terror attack, the pain lingers. Erica Porteous, sister of Yvette Velasco, one of the 14 victims (including five CSUSB alumni), expressed, “Grief has become part of our identity” during a moving memorial ceremony at Cal State San Bernardino’s Peace Garden on Friday, Dec. 2, marking the seventh anniversary of the attack.

At the start of the ceremony, Michael Nguyen, a former Health Science and Human Ecology lecturer, solemnly rang the garden’s bell 14 times, honoring each precious life lost. “With the right eyes, we can see them. With the right ears, we can hear their song,” shared William Van Dyke, a lecturer with the Department of Health Science and Human Ecology, offering solace to those present.

The ceremony concluded with the garden bell tolling another 14 times. Then, the clapper was removed, silencing the bell until the next year, marking a poignant moment of remembrance and tribute to those forever remembered.

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