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Memorial services today for three victims of San Bernardino shootings

Memorial services are being held Saturday for three of the 14 victims killed in the San Bernardino shooting rampage.

More than 500 people attended services for Tin Nguyen, 31, at St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Santa Ana.

FULL COVERAGE: San Bernardino Terror Attack

Nguyen’s mother, Vanessa, called her “such a good soul.” Nguyen and her longtime boyfriend, San Trinh, had planned to marry in 2017, family members said.

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Mother and daughter were dreaming of a wedding at their beloved St. Barbara’s, a few miles from their house.

“She promised that no matter what, she would return to have her wedding there, and now we’re having a funeral,” her mother said. “What will become of our lives?”

Thirteen priests and deacons led a procession toward the nave of the church, decked in pink and white blooms and towering pine trees, a sign of Christmas to come.

In the spirit of the season, speakers focused on the power of love -- forging everlasting ties, even beyond death -- and forgiveness.

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“We need to pray for the perpetrators and their families. God is merciful. God is love,” reflected Bishop Tod Brown of the Diocese of Orange, who came out of retirement to lead the Mass and ceremony for Nguyen, which featured bilingual greetings and readings.

Brown gave thanks for the beauty of Nguyen’s spirit and the gathering that “brings us together as a family of faith.” “Life does not end with our human experiences on Earth,” he said. “There’s the promise of eternal life with God ... [where] we hope one day to be ourselves.”

Services are also scheduled Saturday in Colton for Isaac Amanios, 60, who immigrated to California from Eritrea in 2000 to escape violence and repression in his home country.

Amanios was a family man who tutored his three children with their schoolwork, relatives said. All are currently in college, said his nephew, Zeke Gebrekidane.

“He was looking forward to his kids graduating from college,” he said. “He came here so his kids could have a better life. It’s not just his family affected, but the entire community is affected by this tragedy.”

Amanios’ wife, Hiwet, works as a registered nurse at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. He is also survived by sons Bruk and Joseph and daughter Milka.

Services for Shannon Johnson, 45, of Los Angeles, were being held Saturday morning in Jesup, Ga.

As bullets rained down during the Dec. 2 shooting rampage at the Inland Regional Center, Johnson had wrapped his left arm around 27-year-old Denise Peraza and held her close.

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“I got you,” Johnson told her.

Peraza was shot once in the back and survived. Johnson died.

Peraza, who is recovering from her injuries, shared her story of survival three days after the shooting to honor Johnson.

The two were seated next to each other at a training and holiday luncheon for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, joking about how they “thought the large clock on the wall might be broken because time seemed to be moving so slowly.”

Minutes later, the two huddled next to each other under the same table, using a fallen chair as a shield from 65 to 75 rounds of bullets being fired from across the room,

Memorial services took place earlier this week for Damien Meins, 58, of Riverside and Yvette Velasco, 27, of Fontana, who also died in the attack.

MORE ON THE SAN BERNARDINO TERROR ATTACK: 

San Bernardino terrorist attack shatters Southern California’s illusion of safety

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Since shootings, area Muslims fear unfounded suspicions and reprisals

San Bernardino may change minds on police use of surplus military equipment


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