Lunar New Year Festivities in Boston Take Somber Tone After Monterey Park Shooting

Eleven people are dead after a gunman opened fire at a dance hall in Monterey Park, California, and people celebrating the Lunar New Year across the country are doing so with heavy hearts

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People in Boston are celebrating the Lunar New Year, but they are doing so though with heavy hearts after a mass shooting in Monterey Park, California.

"It is just heartbreaking, heartbreaking at the start of the new year, because it is supposed to be the start of the new year! Prosperity, longevity good health," Vivien Li said Monday. "To have this happen is just devastating, I think people are still reeling."

In and around Boston, as families come together to mark the Lunar New Year, thoughts are with those suffering in California. Eleven people were killed in a mass shooting at a dance hall there on Saturday night.

The impacts being felt all the way here in Boston.

"It definitely hits home," said Wilson Lee, head of the local chapter of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance.

Lee and his family know Monterey Park well, frequently traveling there.

"Shock, complete horror and kind of dumbfounded on why something like this would happen, especially on the eve of Lunar New Year," Lee said. "We are so used to hearing it, it doesn't become real until someone in your family or someone in your community is affected."

Lunar New Year is always a time for families to gather, and here locally, celebrations are just getting underway.

"Naturally, everyone is really concerned about it," said Yasmin Padamsee Forbes, head of the local Asian American Pacific Islanders Commission. "At a time like this, when you need to celebrate and come together, there is going to be a lot of fear."

Lee says a vigil is planned for Saturday at 4 p.m. at the gates on Beach Street in Boston. The public is invited to attend.

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