Photo courtesy of Cheryl Hansen
The South Pasadena community honored the late actress Vanessa Marquez at Arroyo Park during a formal ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 22. The gathering included a decorative setup celebrating the life of Marquez and speeches from those who remembered Marquez fondly.
Childhood friends of Marquez and several of her cast mates shared anecdotes with those in attendance while singers Emmanuel Salgado and Ismara Cuellar performed a moving rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Although friends of Marquez from across the country were unable to attend in person, they sent their love through meaningful tributes which were read during the program.
Close friend of Marquez and organizer of the memorial, Cheryl Hansen, handed out programs recognizing Marquez as a person of kindness and a pioneer for Latina women in the film industry. Members of the South Pasadena community showed support through gifts of food and flowers.
“The speeches were so moving and heartfelt. It was really something special,” Hansen said. “I think Vanessa was smiling down on us and enjoying every bit of it.”
Supporters of Marquez and human rights organizations also hoped to spread their message of the importance of preventing incidents of officer-involved shootings. A group called Justice for Vanessa Marquez will be holding a march from Marquez’ South Pasadena home to the South Pasadena Police Department Saturday, Sept. 29.
The investigation regarding Marquez’s death is still ongoing, however those close to Marquez continue to wait for answers while honoring the life of their friend.