Today I must write a little about who I really am, a member of the Seal Beach Community.
I have always known Seal Beach was a wonderful city to grow up in. Last night reaffirmed that for me ten times over.
As I park my car to walk towards the memorial, I am accompanied by a sea of people. We all have solemn expresses as we greet one another. Walking in silence to what has come to be the biggest tragedy Seal Beach has ever encountered.
Once my father and I arrive I pull the candles I have brought from my purse. I didn't even have to ask as my fellow community members all began to help one another light their candles. The sea of light was beautiful. An amazing representation of what this once sleepy little beach town, means to every one of us.
Police Chaplain Donald Shoemaker, who has been a part of our community longer than I have been alive spoke to the crowd, "We've all heard the expression: Wrong place at the wrong time. But what if you are exactly where you are suppose to be? What if you are right where you had every right to be and to be safe and secure right where you were?"
The entire crowd including myself wiped away tears. Speaker after speaker came up to the podium, each with a kind thing to say of the loved ones who had passed and a warm memory of our little beach community.
My brother also spoke to the crowd. In the moment he began, I couldn't help but burst with pride. That was my kid brother, standing in front of 4,000 plus members of our community, telling us this horrible tragedy will not define who we are. His speech was inspiring, heart felt and emotional. I couldn't have been more proud.
The night came to an end as we all began to walk home. I would have walked to the comforts of 201 7th Street if they had still been there. Instead, my father and I got back into our 71 Chevy pick up truck and drove the 10 minutes it took to get to our houses in Huntington Beach.
Even though we now reside in Huntington Beach, Seal Beach will forever be our home. I am proud to be apart of this community.
God bless Seal Beach and God Bless the 8 people who were unjustly taken from us. This community, will never forget.