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Remembering those lost in tragedy

Hundreds of readers have left memorial comments on pages at latimes.com commemorating the Metrolink crash victims. Some excerpts:

September 21, 2008

For all victims

"It is eye-opening to read about a random group of strangers who died, the likes of whom you probably meet every day without knowing their dreams and aspirations, the weaknesses that make them human, the people in their lives. I just hope that it doesn't confirm the notion that each of us is most appreciated when we're dead. Look out for each other and embrace the present."

-- Bill

Christopher Aiken

"My dear brother. . . . I remember running away with you a couple of times. Walking from Lockport all the way to Gasport on the railroad tracks. Wow, we were so dumb, our lives were perfect and we had the greatest parents, we just didn't know it."

-- Heath

Dennis Arnold

"Known as 'Uncle Bunky,' he was a gentle, kind, and soft-spoken individual who was happily and totally immersed in his family."

-- Mark Smith

Dean Brower

"He was an example for all of us, and I'm sure everyone who ever knew him or met him will feel the loss of this great man who put his family first."

-- Valerie Zeko

Alan Buckley

"I saw Buck almost every day on the train. He was gruff on the outside and a marshmallow on the inside."

-- Robin

Yi Chao

"I just ask of you not to worry and or be afraid, I want you to rest soul and be at peace with my grandmothers, grandfathers and aunt and uncles. And Pappy, though you are not here physically, spiritually and in our hearts . . . I will continue to listen and follow the guidance that you have taught me."

-- Mey Chao,

daughter

Spree DeSha

"Spree and I worked together on the same bicycle unit at Wilshire Division. She was a very hard-working officer but most of all she was a very special person. I can remember times when the unit would sit down to eat all together and her close partner, Wes, would often eat off her plate."

-- Gordon Helper

Walter Fuller

"Walt was a faithful friend and co-worker. I remember that Friday as we worked together in the office. . . . He was in a great mood, smiling all day and even insisted on buying my lunch! That is my last memory of a good man who loved the Lord dearly."

-- Mark Economou

co-worker

Ronald Grace

"He was the counselor of Roosevelt Middle School, and was like a dad to all of us."

-- Christel

Michael Hammersley

"We spent many hours together in the comic book store. Your love of science fiction and action figures was like no other."

-- Linda Fougere

Jacob Hefter

"I knew nothing of you, I hadn't heard of you until this . . . but from what I've heard, and from how many people have fallen to pieces over you . . . I know you were something amazingly special."

-- A friend of a friend

Chen-Wyuan Kari Hsieh

"Kari was one of my really good friends. . . . We were still trying to convince her to go to prom with us."

-- Gen

Ernest Kish

"I don't know anybody who called him Ernest. He was just Pete. And like Peter in the Bible he was a rock. He was the kind of guy that would bake homemade cookies and take them to the homeless shelter, where he would sometimes volunteer and spend the night."

-- David

Gregory Lintner

"Greg helped me in the Glendale train crash. I was critically injured and couldn't move. Without regard to his own safety he dug me out of the debris and stayed with me until the paramedics arrived."

-- Patti Hudson

Paul Long

"Mr. Long finished out his life with straight A's, that's for sure."

-- Freddie Ranieri

Manuel Macias

"He taught me to look at the good in all people no matter what."

-- Rita

Aida Magdaleno

"What a beautiful spirit and beautiful face. Your light shines on."

-- Susan

Beverly Mosley

"I remember your smile, your impish laugh, our philosophical chats and most recently our brunch with the gang. You gave so much to people, I think, because there was so much to you as a person."

-- Marilou Cheung

Charles Peck

"He was my 3 o'clock therapy session as we all awaited the end of our shifts. He made me laugh so hard during the wait to go home and always went home with a stomach ache from laughing so hard."

-- Andrea Greeno

Howard Pompel

"I met Howard on the train, and he would just have us all laughing with all his stories. If I ever had a bad day at work Howard would just cheer me up by telling me a joke."

-- Jennifer

Donna Lynn Remata

"Overall, she was one of kind. I will, along with my colleagues, miss her tremendously. As Donna would say, 'Everything is marvelous.' God Bless."

-- Vernon Passmore

Robert M. Sanchez

"You taught me so much about trains, and just life in general."

-- Nick-IE

Doyle Souser

"In a self-centered society, Doyle stood out as the antithesis . . . a man willing to give himself to others in so many ways."

-- Rob and Christi Griffith

Roger Spacey

"He was the jolliest Brit we ever knew."

-- Victoria Borjeson

Maria Elena Villalobos

"May you rest in peace, Maria. I saw your mother on the news -- she spoke about you so sweetly. I know you were loved and that you will be missed."

-- Jill in Long Beach

Atul Vyas

"Atul was a modern day Renaissance man. . . . Atul was the kid who, when he showed up at a party, everybody just smiled."

-- Phil Trapp

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