January 26th was a sad day for Orange County. For a moment, it seemed as if the whole world stopped as we learned that a total of nine people lost their lives as a helicopter went down in the hills above Calabasas.
Kobe Bryant and his daughter; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, a basketball coach and physical education teacher at Harbor Day School in Corona Del Mar; Sarah Chester, a former teacher and her daughter Payton; and pilot Ara Zobayan were among those who passed during the crash on that fateful, foggy day.
Many individual memorials have already taken place, including one for the Altobelli family at Angel Stadium. And a public memorial for the former Lakers superstar, his daughter and the other victims is scheduled for February 24th at Staples Center.
It can take up to a year to determine how or why the accident happened, but there is one thing we do know as of now. All those aboard were all beloved members of the Orange County community, and their contributions will never be forgotten. They were mentors, motivators, humanitarians and community champions. They were active in every sense of the word and worked tirelessly to make an impact on the people around them.
Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to their families, loved ones and the countless students and lives they touched along the way. You will all be missed. But never forgotten.