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Memorial service for US Mumbai victims

world Updated: Dec 15, 2008 11:25 IST

A Virginia man and his teenage daughter were remembered as loving, peaceful spirits whose lives provided a sharp contrast to their violent deaths at the hands of terrorists while on pilgrimage to India.

About 200 people attended the memorial service at the meditation community yesterday that was home to Alan Scherr and his 13-year-old daughter, Naomi, killed during the attacks at the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai, India, on November 26.

Synchronicity Foundation founder, Master Charles Cannon, urged those gathered in the meditation room and watching over the Internet to live each moment to the fullest. Although Cannon did not mention the terrorists, he encouraged each individual to love all others.

Cannon said he and others at Synchronicity, would continue to share Alan and Naomi's message that life and love were divine.

"Alan and Naomi are not gone. They live on in subtle forms Their journeys of light and love and truth continue, and if we are aware right here, right now in this very moment they are closer to us than our very breath," said Cannon, who sat beside Kia Scherr, Alan's wife and Naomi's mother, on a stage in the front of the circular room adorned with white flowers.

Friends remembered Alan Scherr as a man with a quick- witted dry humour, a great cook and a lover of coffees. Cannon remembered Alan Scherr as trusted brother, friend and peer.

"I can rest and find peace in my continuation knowing that he's still here with his hand on our shoulder laughing and smiling and joking and comforting and encouraging us in the continuation of our journey," he said.

Naomi and her father lived near Synchronicity, a hillside community that includes a monastery, modest living quarters for about 30 and a central community building. She loved music, writing and was "boiling over with enthusiasm" about the "Twilight" book series, friends and relatives said.