CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A crowd gathered near Hyde Park Square Tuesday to mourn Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and the seven others who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
The vigil began at 8:24 p.m., an homage to the two numbers Bryant wore—8 and 24—in his two-decade career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Candles were lit, basketballs were signed and dozens showed up in their Kobe gear.
The emotions ran the gamut as well, from tenderness to devastation, but always recognizing the world didn’t just lose a basketball star, but nine people each extraordinary in their own way.
Organizer Matt Tomamichel, who owns Corporate, the sneaker store where the vigil was held, says he wanted to provide an opportunity for people to express themselves.
“We kept hearing the common thing, ‘I just don’t know how to deal with this,’” Tomamichel said. “I have noticed that when people come together, we are able to get past things and start the healing process.”
Like most around the world grieving his loss, Ronnie Iquina, who attended the vigil, didn’t know Bryant personally.
“But just to see the gravity of what he meant for the world and the positivity that he emulated,” Iquina said. “Just for us to have an outlet, to talk about the devastating emotions that we have right now, just to be able to share it with people, that we are feeling this way…”
Shelly Hughes was also one of several dozen to attend the vigil.
“I came out tonight to let everybody know that regardless of what happens in life, God has a purpose for us,” Hughes said. “Even though these children were lost, it’s not just about Kobe, it’s about all these families. Most importantly, we need to always pray and show love for each other.”