While the shocking, deadly attacks in Paris brought increased law enforcement security to the Southland over the weekend, somber residents sought ways to express their dismay in public vigils.
In Long Beach, thousands are expected to turn out on the CSULB campus Sunday at 4 p.m. for a vigil honoring 23-year-old Nohemi Gonzalez, a student who was killed while dining at a Paris bistro.
The design student was spending a semester in Europe and it was her first time traveling out of the United States.
While weekend homecoming activities at the school will continue, a university official acknkowledged they will be somber.
The Long Beach vigil is expected to mourn not just the death of CSULB’s own students, but all of the victims, as well.
Meanwhile, about 200 people gathered at the French
Consulate in Los Angeles to mourn the victims of Friday’s deadly terrorist
attacks in Paris.
The subdued crowd congregated outside the consulate on the corner of
Santa Monica and Beverly Glen boulevards, depositing flowers, candles and signs
on the sidewalk.
An impromptu, softly sung version of the French national anthem filtered
the air at one point during the Saturday evening event.
Among the attendees were Burbank residents Robert Thorpe and his wife,
Corinne, a French native who has lived in the United States for 13 years.
They were there “to show support for France, just like they did after
Sept. 11th, what they did for us to show solidarity,” Robert Thorpe said.
Corinne Thorpe said disbelief was her first reaction when she heard
reports of the massacres that killed at least 129 people and wounded more than
“(It was) shock,” said Thorpe, who learned today that family members
in France were safe. “I could not believe it happened.”
Robert Thorpe, who spent 14 years in the U.S. Navy, had a different
reaction. “For me, (it was) anger,” he said.
— Staff and wire reports