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Dozens gather for candlelight vigil on one year anniversary of Spc. Vanessa Guillen's disappearance

Posted at 11:02 PM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 00:51:44-04

KILLEEN, TX — Dozens gathered at the Vanessa Guillen Mural in Killeen to remember the slain soldier on the one year anniversary of her disappearance.

“What happened with Vanessa and her memory and her legacy has caused institutional change,” said Queta Rodriguez with the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee.

From San Antonio to Dallas, Washington D.C. and several other cities, vigils were held across the country to show solidarity and support for the #IamVanessaGuillen Act.

The Guillen family says they are overwhelmed with all the support.

“We’re very grateful that you guys come out here because y’all are the reason why Vanessa’s case has gone worldwide. Many of the outcomes- the firing of the 14 officials, having the one-on-one meeting with the president, we owe this to the people,” said Uriel Guillen Aranda, Vanessa Guillen’s cousin.

The #IAmVanessaGuillen Act stalled out in Congress last year, but is expected to be reintroduced soon. It aims to protect service members from sexual assault and harassment.

The common message throughout the vigil was the impact of Vanessa's loss.

“This has been an impetus for what I know will be change. I know the change is coming. I’m confident that change is coming,” said Rodriguez.

During the vigil, two service members were honored for their work to upkeep and preserve the memorial.

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