Remembering Nohemi Gonzalez, the American college student killed in the Paris attacks
The terrorist attacks in Paris shook the entire world to its core, and as heartbreaking details have been continuously flooding in this weekend, thousands are taking to social media to mourn the loss of American college student Nohemi Gonzalez. Gonzalez, a design student from El Monte, California, attended Cal State Long Beach and was part of an international exchange program at the Strate School of Design. She was dining at a Paris restaurant on Friday night before being fatally wounded during the attacks, reports Los Angeles Times. Gonzalez was 23.
Gonzalez leaves behind her family and her boyfriend, Tim Mraz. “Yesterday I lost the most important person in my life,” Mraz, wrote on Instagram, accompanying a photo of the two of them embracing. “She was my best friend and she will always be my angel forever. I am lost for words. My prayers are with her family. Such a bright soul and the sweetest girl with [a] smile on her face. Thank you to the friends and family that are reaching out. . . Te amo.”
Gonzalez was active on her campus, tutoring students in the design department. “We relied on her,” the department’s chairman Martin Herman told the LA Times. “She had an indescribably sweet spirit and imagination. It’s unbelievable that this could have happened.”
She was a member of a team that recently won second place in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge for “inventing a biodegradable snack pack that can sprout plants,” according to the LA Times. Her last post on Facebook was about the challenges of being abroad in France while delving into her work: “Learning a 3D modeling computer program in a language I don’t know is up there In the top 3 hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”
Gonzalez’s untimely and tragic passing has shaken everyone, from campus peers and faculty to high school friends. “She was kind to everyone — a remarkable and unforgettable person,” Alejandra Gonzalez, who attended Whittier High School with Gonzalez and knew her well from being on the cross-country team together, told LA Times. “The world lost such a beautiful shining light.”
Her friends have been taking to her Facebook page to remember Gonzalez’s spirit, drive, and kindness. “I’m still trying to process this all but it’s just too much to take,” wrote Niran Jayasiri, according to the LA Times. “You were one of the most down to earth, cheerful, bubbly, helpful and honest people I knew.”
“It crushes my soul that you’re gone but you were off being a free spirit like you’ve always been,” wrote Madeline Chavez.
The entire nation is mourning the loss of Gonzalez in the wake of such a senseless tragedy. Thousands are taking to social media to express their condolences and support for the loved Gonzalez’s loved ones.
Strate School of Design director Dominique Sciamma said in a statement about the loss of Gonzalez:
A vigil is being held at 4 p.m. today on Cal State Long Beach’s campus to remember the life of Gonzalez. Our hearts go out to the Gonzalez family during this unbelievably difficult and heartbreaking time. Rest in peace, Nohemi.
(Images via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.)