The Southern California school and church where dozens of Chinese students were headed when their plane crashed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday is holding a vigil for the victims tonight.
The West Valley Christian School in West Hills in the San Fernando Valley had been planning to host the group of 35 students and chaperones from a school in China’s Zhejiang province for a three-week summer program.
After Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed Saturday, resulting in the deaths of two 16-year-old girls who were headed to the summer camp, the program was canceled. The girls were identified as Ye Meng Yuan and Wang Lin Jia.
At 7 p.m. today, two days after the students were set to arrive there, a vigil will be held at the school.
Amazing Grace will be sung in Mandarin, and empty classroom chairs will be set on a platform to represent the missing program guests, school administrators said. There will be a translator at the event.
There will be three wreaths on the stage—two white wreaths in honor of the girls who died and one red wreath in honor of their Chinese heritage.
Local city officials and clergy will speak, and attendees will be able to write notes on banners that will be sent to the two girls’ homes.
Memorial plaques honoring the two girls will be sent to their school in China, West Valley school officials said.
The school has also been collecting donations for the victims online at http://www.wvcch.org/tithe.html. The total donations given through July 20 will be sent to the families directly.
There will also be a church service on July 21, after which the school and church community plans to send care packages to all 35 families in China.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News