Emotional tribute for Sandra Cantu

April 16, 2009 5:51:18 PM PDT
Thousands of people came to Tracy on Thursday and said goodbye to 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. There was an overflow crowd of mourners who turned out to show their support for the family of Sandra.

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Sandra was kidnapped and killed after disappearing from her neighborhood on March 27th.

Senator Barbara Boxer and Attorney General Jerry Brown attended the memorial service.

They came from far and near, and from all walks of life, to remember Sandra, a young girl whose life was taken so suddenly. Each came for their own reasons.

"You arrived here burdened by grief, but grief shared is grief made bearable," said Tracy Police Chaplain Bill Higgins.

Many among the more than 3,000 people who gathered to celebrate the life of the second-grader with the bright smile were children.

"I will forever remember the video of the joyful little girl skipping down the driveway. That is the image everyone should think of remembering when remembering Sandra and every small child," said Steve Abercrombie with the Tracy City Council.

Sandra's family was seated in the front rows, wanting to be part of the public celebration of Sandra's life.

Her aunt, Angie Chavez, read a poem titled "Tracy's Angel."

"Sandra's smile could light up a room. Her infectious laugh got you out of your gloom," read Chavez.

The service ended with a 9-minute video tribute.

"Tracy's angel, they have called her, and her precious face is so tender. A community she brought together in our hearts, she will remain forever," read Chavez.

Sandra is leaving a legacy in Tracy. The 8-year-old not only brought an entire community together, but also taught them to hold their children a little closer.

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