[Updated: Tue., May 28, 2024, 10:10am]

Mourners gathered in Isla Vista’s Love and Remembrance Garden on Thursday, May 23, to honor the lives of the six students killed on that day in the 2014 Isla Vista killings: Christopher Michaels-Martinez, George Chen, Weihan “David” Wang, Chen Yuan “James” Hong, Katie Cooper, and Veronika Weiss.

“Ten years ago, on this day, they lived: full of hopes, full of dreams, full of life. We must learn from the past and do better … for them, for us, for those to come,” said Richard Martinez, Michaels-Martinez’s father and now an outspoken advocate for gun safety, at the memorial.

UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang also took to the podium, as did current UC Santa Barbara Associated Students (AS) president Nayali Broadway and Jonathan Abboud, who served as the AS president from 2013-2014 and was in office during the time of the tragedy. Jordan Killebrew, founder of Project I.V. Love, the organization that created the Love and Remembrance Garden in response to the killings, also spoke, stressing the importance of community. 

Brothas from Otha Mothas, UCSB’s all-male a cappella group, performed a song at the memorial and noted that the group had also performed at the 2014 memorial to the victims that took place at Harder Stadium. Students from InterVals, another a cappella group from UCSB, also performed. 

Flowers were laid on each chair alongside pots with seed packets. Attendees were encouraged to take home the seed packets and create their own versions of a “Love and Remembrance” garden at home.

See Independent photographer Ingrid Bostrom’s photos of the memorial above, along with a clip of Martinez’s speech below. —Sierra van der Brug 

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