DOWNEY, Calif. (AP) — Mourners filled a chapel to pay their respects to a California university student, the only known American killed in the Paris terrorist attacks last month.
Friends, family and officials who attended the funeral Friday praised 23-year-old Nohemi Gonzalez as a vibrant and caring woman with a bright future, the Long Beach Press-Telegram (http://bit.ly/1lguBbU ) reported.
“I’m so proud of her but still picking up pieces of my heart,” Reynaldo Gonzalez said of his daughter.
Nohemi Gonzalez was dining with friends at a popular bistro in Paris when she was shot Nov. 13.
She was a senior majoring in industrial design and one of 17 California State University, Long Beach, students attending the Strate College of Design in Paris as part of a study abroad program.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the gun-and-bomb attacks that left 130 people dead and hundreds hurt at several sites in Paris, including a music hall and soccer stadium.
Miriam Padilla said that the death of her cousin by terrorists should unite people of all ethnicities to address the root causes of terrorism.
“We are angry, furious that our cousin is dead,” she said.
“But this attack has only deepened the resolve to advocate for all immigrants fleeing violence and economic disparity in the Middle East and Latin America and all over the world.”
Gonzalez, of the Los Angeles suburb of El Monte, has been celebrated in the weeks since the attacks. Three days after her death, about 2,000 people gathered at the university for a vigil.
University President Jane Close Conoley told mourners Friday that the university is a tight-knit community that shares the Gonzalez family’s grief.
“We miss her today,” she said, “and we’ll miss her forever.”