By Clarissa Toll |News Editor|
CSUSB hosted a candlelight vigil on Dec. 7 to honor the victims of San Bernardino’s mass shooting.
The campus clock tower rang 14 times as the CSUSB community, as well as members from the public, held candles and a moment of silence to honor those killed during the attack.
President Tomás Morales, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Brian Haynes, faculty members, as well as members from local religious organizations, spoke at the vigil.
“I am deeply saddened by the events that have brought us here today,” said Haynes.
Haynes remarked, even though we have a “cloud of darkness weighing us [CSUSB campus and community] down…We remain San Bernardino-strong.”
Five of the 14 victims killed in the shooting were past CSUSB graduates.
They were Robert Adams (2011), Juan Espinoza (2002), Shannon Johnson (2004), Yvette Velasco (2013), and Michael Wetzel (2001), according to a CSUSB press release.
“It may be difficult to dream while bleeding,” but as a community and university there is hope that we as a university and a community can rise from this tragedy, said CSUSB professor Dr. Dany Doueiri.
“Coyotes, rise up,” continued Douieri.
Representatives from the local Jewish, Muslim, and Christian religions spoke of forgiveness, as well as unity at the vigil.
“We must never let violence and other people‘s fears make our views wrong,” said Kevin Giser, Director of Inland Desert Hillel Council.
Pastor Hector Ramal of Inland Spanish Seventh Day Adventist Church and Pat Balthazar from Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church advised and encouraged the audience to learn to forgive and practice works of mercy.
The vigil was designed as a place for the local public and CSUSB community members to express heartfelt pain for the victims, their families, as well as honor them and the first responders of the attack.
Attendees of the vigil were encouraged to leave their thoughts and prayers on note cards for CSUSB victims’ families at the end of the vigil.
“We must lean on each other to emerge stronger—San Bernardino-stronger,” said Haynes.