California is marking the heartbreaking one-year anniversary of December 2, 2015, when 14 people were gunned down at a holiday party by a colleague and his wife, and in tribute to the lives lost, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is lighting up its famed Arrowhead monument for 14 nights.
“Even as we struggle to make sense of those events from a year ago, we remain strong in our commitment to the values that make us a strong community,” said Lynn Valbuena, chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, in a statement. “We are proud to join with the San Bernardino and our community partners to shine a new light in memory of those we lost.”
The Arrowhead formation, nestled in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains just north of San Bernardino's Wildwood Park, will be set ablaze with more than a dozen 120,000-lumen arc lights. It will be visible from nearly anywhere in the cities of San Bernardino or Highland, the San Manuel Band said, serving as a “symbol of solidarity and hope for this proud and strong community” of San Bernardino.
The attack occurred during a holiday luncheon, when Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik burst into the room with guns blazing, allegedly inspired by the Islamic State, or ISIS. Fourteen people died, and 22 were wounded.
The tragedy hit the 216,000-population city hard, and a year later the community is coming together once again. Right after the shooting, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians of Southern California made a joint donation totaling $600,000 to the San Bernardino United Relief Fund.
On December 2, 2016, county employees will commemorate the victims with a moment of silence at 10:58 a.m. Pacific Time, when the first 911 call was placed, according to the Associated Press. A service will be held later in the day, with religious leaders and law enforcement officials speaking, AP said.
The Arrowhead has been a symbol of the San Bernardino Valley for centuries, the San Manuel Band said. It is both a California Historical Monument and the namesake for the City of Lake Arrowhead and other entities. The 1,375-foot-long, 449-foot-wide landmark is a natural phenomenon, though its precision makes it look manmade, the band said.
“The face of the Arrowhead consists of light quartz, supporting a growth of short white sage,” the band said. “This lighter vegetation shows in sharp contrast to the surrounding chaparral and greasewood. The Arrowhead sits directly above the artesian hot springs that sit within the historic Arrowhead Springs Hotel, recently acquired by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.”
It will be lit nightly from December 2-15, from 5:30 to 10 p.m., the band said.