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‘We will never forget’ San Bernardino terror attack victims, mourners say on second anniversary – Orange County Register


Mourners who showed up at a memorial Saturday came in support of survivors and those who lost loved ones “We will not forget them,” said one.
SAN BERNARDINO – William Youngblood and Sugar Yaw crouched at the southeast corner of Waterman Avenue and Orange Show Road on Saturday and planted a miniature Christmas tree in the dirt.
Around it, they placed 14 stuffed bears.
On the second anniversary of the Dec. 2,2015, terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center, several members of the community stopped by the makeshift memorial to remember the 14 who lost their lives.
And while neither Youngblood nor Yaw knew the victims, “This is home,” Youngblood said. “I was born here, raised here. These people are like part of my family.”
Youngblood, 55, choked back tears discussing how the tragedy affected him then and still affects him now. Before leaving, he sobbed in Yaw’s arms.
“The hatred in the world needs to stop,” he said. “It pains my heart to see all this cruelty in the world. It’s wrong. It’s ridiculous.”
Those who stopped at the memorial Saturday were commemorating the victims shot and killed two years ago during a training session at holiday gathering for San Bernardino County’s Environmental Health Services Division at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino .
The attackers, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27, were killed hours later during a shootout 3 miles away.
Rosa Ortiz did not know the victims either, but a nephew was among the survivors.
Ortiz stopped by the memorial Saturday after leaving a private gathering at the Inland Regional Center for family members of the killed and wounded. Ortiz, of the San Gabriel Valley, left an arrangement of flowers and 14 American flags at the corner.
“We haven’t been the same” since the tragedy, Ortiz said. “This whole week has been tough. But we’re here to offer support to my nephew, and to all those who lost loved ones that day. We will not forget them.”
Councilwoman Virginia Marquez stopped by the memorial to observe San Bernardino County’s 10:55 a.m. moment of silence. The first 911 call was received at 10:58 a.m. the day of the shooting.
She recalled the events of Dec. 2,2015, with astounding clarity.
“Within minutes” of the attack, she said, “San Bernardino would be on the world stage.”
Marquez said she is discouraged that mass shootings – such as those in Orlando, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Texas – have become commonplace.
“Has the violence in our world increased since Dec. 2?” she asked. “I say it has.”
She remains proud, however, of San Bernardino’s resiliency, of a city united. The councilwoman said for as long as she lives, she will take time on Dec. 2, to remember those killed and pray that tragedy never returns.
“It still hurts,” she said. “But the cohesiveness, the camaraderie we displayed that day is something I will always remember.”

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