Nohemi Gonzalez remembered at CSU Long Beach after Paris terror attacks

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KFSN) -- Long Beach State is one of California's biggest and most diverse campuses with close to 35,000 students, but it came together Sunday to honor the memory of Nohemi Gonzalez.

A long line of students and faculty joined the family of Nohemi Gonzalez for a candlelight vigil. The procession came after a service in the campus Student Union building.

The French Consul General, Christophe Lemoine, was among those who addressed the somber crowd. "It's very important for me to be with you today to express my respect in the name of Nohemi Gonzalez, an innocent victim of the abject terrorist attacks."

Nohemi was in Paris with several fellow Long Beach State students, on a one semester study tour. One of her friends read an e-mail sent from a fellow student in Paris, who survived the attack. "I know this moment is hard for everyone. No one is ever ready for this kind of news. I don't know why this happened all I know is at this moment Nohemi was a very, very strong person," said Sonja Flores, friend.

Nohemi's boyfriend, Tim Mraz was in tears as he told the crowd how Nohemi would have been embarrassed to see so many come out to remember her. "She would have loved this and hated this at the same time, because she wasn't one to like all the attention."

Nohemi was known as Mimi to her family. Her aunt Rosie told the crowd how much this gathering meant to the family.

Her stepfather, Jose Hernandez said her spirit lived on. "We are here because Mimi is in our hearts. Mimi is not dead."

Most of the students who came did not know Nohemi, but they came to share the feeling of loss.

"It's affecting us a great deal but honestly, it's just great seeing everyone come out, everyone providing support because while we might not have all known Nohemi all of us are impacted in some way," said student Birane Nidoye.

But for Students who knew Nohemi, this was especially difficult. "I came her for Nohemi, because I knew her. She was best friends with my best friend so I'm just here to pay some respect to her family," said Pam Minoso, friend.

California State University Chancellor Timothy White read a poem, written for Nohemi by Juan Felippe Hererra, Poet Laureate of the United States, who is from Fresno:

"Here is your song Mimi, we light Nohemi a candle, the candle waves across the stars, close, they are so close because Nohemi and Paris are in our hearts."

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