Community Comes Together To Mourn Locals Who Perished In Attack
Approximately 1,000 people gathered on the Manhattan Beach Pier on Wednesday, Oct. 4, for a vigil to recognize and honor two local victims of the previous weekend’s deadly Las Vegas shooting at a country music concert.
MB Police employee Rachel Parker and MBUSD Special Education employee Sandy Casey were killed in the attack. A third person, a member of the Manhattan Beach Police Department, was wounded.
Manhattan Beach Mayor David J. Lesser presided over the ceremony, which took place at dusk. It lasted for approximately an hour as tributes to both Parker and Casey were read; there were also songs and a prayer.
The two flags on the pier were flown at half mast and as the sun set behind the pier and the post-sunset glow took over during the ceremony, it made for a serene and peaceful scene.
The Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce sent out an alert on Tuesday announcing the vigil, and South Bay locals turned out whether or not they knew the victims. The base of the pier was shoulder-to-shoulder with mourners and hundreds more filled up the area up Manhattan Beach Blvd., between the pier and Ocean Drive.
The crowd was so large it somewhat resembled the turnout for the the annual Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks.
Nearly every Los Angeles television station was also there to cover the event.
One Local’s Perspective
As someone who lived for several years in Manhattan Beach (I now reside in neighboring Hermosa), I was touched by the ceremony. I did not know either of the victims, but I knew I just had to attend the event.
I felt drawn to it, almost as if by instinct, like an animal returning to its birthplace. When I got there, I understood why I felt that way – it was the sense of being a part of this community.
Suddenly, the shootings hit home, touched the heart and the soul. I felt a few tears start to develop in my eyes, the heart pounded a little louder and the knees became a little weak. I knew others in the crowd felt the same way.
At the same time, I felt a swell of pride – pride that the people here would turn out in such numbers to support others in their community.
At the end, I passed by what must have been Casey’s fiancee. I felt like going up and offering him a hug or some type of condolence, but of course coming from a stranger that would not have been appropriate.
But if he – and any friends and family members of Casey and/or Parker – read this, know that several people in and around Manhattan Beach feel for you and what you have lost. also know that the community’s strength stands behind you.