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West Sacramento Sisters Remembered at Interfaith Memorial

WEST SACRAMENTO -- Bubbles were released in place of balloons.

It's what those gathered say environmentally conscious Sophia would have wanted.

"She was very sweet. She was quiet, but she always had the best things to say," said Nawel Tahraoui.

The spirit of the 12-year-old and her 9-year-old sister, Sara, are alive in the memories of their fellow Girl Scouts.

"She would make the funniest jokes, and she'd just make everyone happy," Tahraoui said.

The Girl Scouts circle opened up a celebration of life ceremony for Sophia and Sara Rouin at Sacramento's Salam Islamic center.

Although the girls' family frequented several different mosques, Sunday's ceremony included faith leaders of different backgrounds.

"They really believed they were part of the broader interfaith community," said Anne Kjemtrup.

Many shared fond memories of the girls.

"Sara, out of the blue one day, started calling me Jerry Blueberry," said Jerry Hall.

Hall said one picture of the girls exemplified the joyful energy they carried to whomever they met.

"Why would you walk when you could spin and dance and skip and twirl?"

Others expressed support for Sara and Sophia's mother whose life was shattered New Year's Eve when her children were killed in a suspected murder-suicide, allegedly carried out by their father.

So they honor the girls by what the sisters were known best for, showing compassion for those in the community who need it most.

"The outpouring has just been phenomenal ... anything, any needs, people are there for her," Hall said.