Chicago celebrates Lunar New Year, remembers California shooting victims


CHICAGO — The Monterey Park shooting is still fresh for many in Chicago’s Asian-American community.

A candlelight vigil was held in the Plaza of Chinatown to honor those who died in the shooting in California.

They held a moment of silence and read the names of the victims.

It’s a heartbreaking incident that is still top of mind for many people, especially on the Lunar New Year weekend.

At the Argyle Lunar New Year event Saturday afternoon, it was a topic of conversation.

“It still makes me want to cry,” Mia Park said. “The emotions of what happened in California are still here because I think about my parents. I think about my grandparents who passed on.”

Park participated in the parade in Uptown, which began with a 15-second moment of silence in honor of the lives that were lost.

“First off, gun violence is awful period,” Park said. “It doesn’t matter who is killed, it just needs to stop. It’s statistically very low in our Asian American community that gun violence happens and the fact that it happened twice right around the holiday just talks to the pressure that everybody is under but especially the Asian Americans.”

48th Ward Ald. Harry Osterman said safety was a priority when the event was being organized.

“We have been working very closely with the mayor’s office, the police department, with our sponsor organizations to make sure that we have a wonderful event that is safe for everyone here today,” Osterman said.

Organizers said the event was about community and showing support for one another.

“After COVID and long shutdown, it’s great to see everyone here trying to celebrate and have a good time,” Osterman said. “A great day to support local business so we are going to get some food around here.”

About 30 different floats made their way down Argyle and Broadway for the parade for the Lunar celebration. But top of mind remained the innocent lives that were recently lost.

“I’m really sad that this happened to our community at large,” Park said. “I hope that everyone here can lean towards the positive and celebrate a great holiday together.”

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