PALO ALTO, Calif. - Hundreds of people gathered at Stanford University on Sunday night to honor those who lost their lives in the Pittsburgh shooting.
Among the attendees was Stanford student Katarina Klett. She grew up three blocks from the Tree of Life synagogue and knew 69-year-old Irving Younger. He was one of the victims.
Klett said Younger was her neighbor and remembered him as an active community member who brought so much light into her life.
“My childhood wasn't always the easiest,” said Klett. “He was always there for my family." She said Younger, and his wife, Sherry, would often watch her when her mother was working.
Klett is a Pittsburgh native and said many of her family and friends worship at Tree of Life. The 23-year-old said she’s Christian but went to many bar mitzvahs there.
“I always looked at Pittsburgh as sort of a safe haven,” said Klett. “No matter your background we lived in peace and harmony. For someone to come and destroy that, it's proof to the world the vulnerability we have is just heartbreaking.”
“Even in this great country to experience this kind of hatred,” said Rabbi Dov Greenberg of Chabad at Stanford. “People gunned down in a synagogue. It has shattered the Jewish community around the world.”
During the service, the names of the 11 people who died were read out loud.
The vigil was organized by the Jewish Student Association. It was attended by people of all backgrounds and faiths. Sughra Ahmed is of Muslim faith.
“As someone who is often on the receiving end of horror in the USA and other countries,” said Ahmed. “We also know how it feels.”