By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal
Flags flew at half-mast all across the Garden Grove-Stanton-Westminster area in the wake of Monday’s bomb explosions in the Boston Marathon that killed three people and left hundreds injured, some critically.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) issued a statement saying, “My thoughts and deepest prayers go out to all of those affected by the horrific tragedy in Boston.” She called the bombings “an act of extreme cowardice” but promised that the American spirit “cannot and will not be broken.”
Sanchez serves on the Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives and vowed to “do everything in my power to ensure that our intelligence and law enforcement community have the necessary tools to quickly find the responsible perpetrators which committed this act of terrorism.
J.J. Jauregui, a Garden Grove restaurant owner who is also the most prominent long distance runner in the area, was hit hard by the news.
“Yesterday’s events were very emotional for me,” he said Tuesday. “The finish line at any event is such a glorious time and for this to happen in Boston, America’s longest ongoing premier marathon!
“I wasn’t planning on running yesterday but after what happened, I need to,” he said. “Solidarity and relief. This will not stop me from running other races. I guarantee you, too, that other runners will not stop either.”
Jauregui recently finished the Los Angeles Marathon and is prepping for the Orange County Marathon. He typically accepts sponsors to raise money for various charitable causes. When not running, he’s the owner-operator of the Azteca Mexican Restaurant and Crooner’s Lounge on Main Street in Garden Grove.
Locals also took to the social media to express their feelings. Benny Diaz, a prominent leader in the Latino community, mused about “It is sad how some sick person or group can do this to people? Why? The Boston Marathon was to unite cultures and people. I pray for each lost and injured person.”
Flags throughout the Garden Grove Unified School District were lowered to half-mast in mourning, as were many at private homes and businesses.