Bells tolled on CSUSB campus in memory of victims of the 2015 mass shooting attack in San Bernardino.
The College of Natural Sciences along with the CSUSB community held their third Remembrance Day for the five CSUSB alumni who tragically lost their lives in the shooting that took place at Inland Regional Center on December 2nd, 2015.
The event was located at the Peace Garden on campus and was attended by faculty, students, and family of the victims, totaling over 60 people. Every year, on December 2nd, at 2 p.m., people gather in remembrance and celebration of the five victims who were associated with the Natural Sciences department. The Garden is this university’s way of expressing love and support for those in our community who were affected by the shooting.
During the event, the beautiful bell is tolled 14 times in honor of the victims, followed by a moment of silence. The names can be seen on the base of the bell which includes Michael R. Wetzel, Shannon H. Johnson, Juan C. Espinoza, Robert C. Adams and Yvette Velasco. The bell will not be rung again until next year on the same day.
Leading the event, was first-year Dean of Natural Sciences Sastry G. Pantula. Pantula was well aware of the circumstances and acknowledged the crowd with extreme humility and sympathy.
“A couple of years ago, we opened this Peace Garden in memory of the five alumni, among the 14 who lost their lives in the December 2nd tragedy,” Pantula said, “We ring this bell every December 2nd to remember our fallen alum because this event is very important and it allows us to comfort each other, and tell our community we share the pain of this tragic loss.”
Also in attendance were 20 or so family members of alum Yvette Velasco who graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health Science. According to her family, Yvette was a beautiful soul and is truly missed. They were extremely grateful for this event and the CSUSB community.
“We appreciate and are grateful that the community is united in hope and love,” said Yvette’s Uncle. “This event is just one more reminder that she will never be forgotten and for that we are thankful.”
Dr. Jeffrey Tan who works with CSUSB Counseling and Psychological Services was also in attendance. He spoke to the family members and noted that any enrolled students can come and receive therapy to help with situations like this.
“We deal with short-term therapy to help students cope with tragic situations like this,” Dr. Tan said, “Our offices are located inside the Health Center and during finals weeks, drop-in hours are always available.”
Julie Lappin who is the schools Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President wanted to pass on a message from President Morales.
“Our hearts go out to everyone who was affected by this tragedy,” Lappin said, “Our thoughts and prayers are always with them.”