Let There Be Light

26 May

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I just returned home from the UCSB Candlelight Vigil at UCSD. We came together in memory of the students whose lives were tragically taken on Friday in Santa Barbara. Hundreds of people came together to recognize those that were lost. There were tears. There were moving speeches. People opened their hearts. Total strangers gave each other hugs. Shoulders were lent to cry on. To say it was moving would be an understatement.


I wear many hats in my life.  I’m a daughter.  A sister.  A girlfriend.  An Aunt.  A friend.  A gapper. And a GAUCHO. I wear my Gaucho hat with so much pride.  I think of my time at UCSB with so much happiness in my heart.  Having that joy robbed for so many that had to endure firsthand the events that unfolded in Isla Vista on Friday breaks my heart.  To know that another family is struggling with the loss of their child makes me sick.  To know that friends have been lost that can never be replaced makes me so sad.

We know that the Isla Vista community is resilient.  They will rise up and find a way to cope.  They will be stronger for it.  Nothing will ever make it okay though and nothing will ever make it alright.

I wish more care was made by the media to make the six souls that were giving angel wings too soon house hold names.  The person that commits the crime is always the one the media hones in on.  When you jump the fence at a baseball game to run on the field, the cameras cut away.  They don’t show the people that are halting the game because it glorifies what they are doing.  I’m not sure what the right approach is but there has to be more we can do to stop making celebrities out of the troubled individuals that make themselves famous by harming others.  There is no magic wand of a fix but there has to be more we can do.  I won’t even type his name here because he doesn’t deserve the recognition.  That’s what he would have wanted.

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I brought a sign with me to the vigil with the names of the victims listed.  The incredible organizer of the vigil, Julia, saw that I was wearing a UCSB sweatshirt and holding the sign and introduced herself.  She told me to come up where she was standing so I could see the steady stream of people that came out to show support.  As I hoisted myself up to her perch I couldn’t believe the amount of people that I was seeing.  We stood there with our arms wrapped around each other.  Tears streamed down my cheeks.  We were total strangers having a moment.  It doesn’t get more powerful than that.

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Whether you are a Triton, Banana Slug, Trojan, Anteater, Bear, Gunrock, Oski, or a Gaucho…we all make up the University of California community.  As I watched candles being raised high in the air, I felt proud to call myself alumni of such a prestigious group.

Spreading love is the most important thing we do.  The final speaker at the vigil led all attendees in our signature Gaucho battle cry…

“Oooooole, Ole, Ole, Oleeeeee.  GAU-CHOOOO, GAU-CHOOOOOOOO…”

Where you see bad, you will always see good too.  That was apparent this evening more so than ever.  Keep these names in your heart.  These are the names you want to remember.

Veronika Weiss

Katie Cooper

Chris Martinez

Cheng Yuan Hong

George Chen

Weihan Wang

Thank you to everyone that organized this event.  Thank you to everyone that shared.  Thank you for reading.  Spread love.  xoxo





One Response to “Let There Be Light”


  1. It’s Gonna Be M A Y | Vogel's Happiness Project - May 28, 2014

    […] about it. I even made it onto NBC News in San Diego. You can read more about by clicking here: Let There Be Light. I will be rocking my Gaucho gear tomorrow in remembrance of those whose lives were lost and in […]

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