San Bernardino Terrror Victims: We Honor And Remember

San Bernardino Terrror Victims: We Honor And Remember

San Bernardino Terrror Victims: We Honor And Remember

Tis the Season! A time of celebrating the milestones you’ve made personally and professionally. The time when decorations, lights and Christmas trees go up, presents start appearing, and we remember that HE is the reason for the season. Its also the time of the corporate Christmas parties where employers and employees celebrate another year gone by, imbibe on too much Christmas food and beverage, and chuckle a bit about that crazy Christmas sweater.

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This year a company gathering was held at the Inland Regional Center. I’m sure there was the usual company politics, the jockeying for position, and the ‘did you SEE what he/she is wearing?!’ commentary. Over it all was the anticipation of Christmas. A season of joy. A season of celebration. A season of faith and good will.

Yet in one abrupt brutal moment, all of that came to a halt. Two terrorists, one of whom masqueraded as an employee for that company, walked in wearing combat gear and carrying weapons. They opened fire leaving 21 wounded and 14 dead. While we’ve understandably worked to shine a bright and focused laser light on the terrorist perpetrators, we must not and shall not forget those who are suffering and those who died at the hands of terrorism. They. Have. Names.

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The LA Times has a simple yet profound synopsis of those whose lives were taken too soon.

Juan Espinoza, 50
Juan Espinoza, 50
Aurora Godoy, 26
Aurora Godoy, 26
Tin Nguyen, 31
Tin Nguyen, 31
Shannon Johnson, 45
Shannon Johnson, 45
Harry Bowman, 46
Harry Bowman, 46

Bennetta Bet-Badal: When she was 18 years old. 18! when she fled Iran to start a new life of freedom in the United States.

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She finished school with a degree in chemistry and was looking forward to giving a presentation at the event on Wednesday.

“It is the ultimate irony that her life would be stolen from her,” the family said in their statement, “by what appears to be the same type of extremism that she fled so many years ago.”

Isaac Amanios: A brother, a father, an all around wonderful guy to hang out with. Loved sports and loved his family. A much loved uncle to Nat Berhe, NY Giants safety:

Sierra Clayborn: a 27 year old environmental health specialist for the county.

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“I love hanging out with my friends and I love my blooming career in public and environmental health,” she wrote on her Facebook page, where her profile photo still has the red, white and blue filter honoring victims of last month’s terrorist attack in Paris. “I am dedicated to enjoying my new life, that God so graciously gave me, so I thank Him… and live life to the fullest. I love my life.”

Robert Adams: a lover of exceptionally bright ties, high school sweethearts with his wife, a man who followed his parents example and looked out for others. He leaves behind a wife and their 20 month old daughter Savannah…and a legacy of helping his parents provide doves to those mourning the loss of loved ones.

Nicholas Thalasinos whom Toni wrote about here. A selfless family man. A man who saw what the encroaching evil of muslim terrorism can do and spoke against it, exercising the wonderful gift of free speech that ALL Americans enjoy. Thank you sir.

Clockwise from upper left; Damian Meins, Robert Adams, Sierra Clayborn, Daniel Kaufman
Clockwise from upper left; Damian Meins, Robert Adams, Sierra Clayborn Bottom left -right: Micheal Wetzel, Yvette Velasco, Larry Daniel Kaufman

Michael Wetzel: A gentle giant who loved his kids. One who led a princess-themed soccer club for five year olds and loved holding his wife and family close.

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We can call them victims if we chose. But I’d rather not. I’ll call them heroes. Each one demonstrates a life well lived. Each one typifies all that is great and good about this country. Each one has family, children, and friends who will forever mourn their loss. And yet during this time I can only think of His faithfulness and His strength during our times of peril. May He carry those who mourn through their time of grief and raise them up to be more than they ever thought possible.

May we never forget that those taken too soon were living! They, all 14 of them, are the embodiment of everything that is AMERICA. Freedom, choice, adventure, and so much more. We honor. We remember. We will not forget.

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