Two new stars shine over Manhattan Beach

Mourners close the ceremony singing "God Bless America." Photo (

Manhattan Beach memorial for Rachael Parker and Sandy Casey on Wednesday, October 4 at the Manhattan Beach pier. Photo

The crowd that gathered Wednesday evening to remember Manhattan Beach Police records technician Rachael Parker and Manhattan Beach Middle School special ed teacher Sandy Casey spilled out from the Manhattan Beach pier head on to Manhattan Beach Boulevard and up and down The Strand.

Manhattan Beach Police Chief Eve Irvine noted to the mourners that Parker died on the 10th anniversary of starting her job with the department. Casey died despite the efforts of her fiance to stop her bleeding as he carried her hopefully to safety.

Parker and Casey were among the 58 country music fans shot to death at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1.

“Two new stars shine over our city. Don’t think of Rachael and Sandy as memories. Think of them as being here, in the present, their music echoing eternal tones,” Monsignor Barry told the mourners.

The memorial began as the sun set with tenor Dennis McNeil leading the crowd in singing “Hallelujah.” It ended in darkness, with the crowd waving their phones like candles as McNeil led them in singing “God Bless America.”

Mourners close the ceremony singing “God Bless America.” Photo (

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