They were the two biggest faces of the Fast & Furious franchise, Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. On Monday night at an over night memorial at the crash site Vin Diesel was on hand to address the crowd and thank them for the support they were showing to his friend and co-star.
Diesel’s speech for his deceased friend was all the more moving because it appeared impromptu and straight from the heart. Diesel addressed the crowd who had gathered during the night over the public address system from one of the cars from the sheriff’s office.
Diesel was highly emotional as he addressed those who like him were missing the 40 year old actor that night. “I just wanted to say thank you, thank you for coming down here and showing that angel up in heaven how much you appreciate him.”
Fans probably do not know a softer side of Diesel. In his movies he typically plays the tough guy with a deep, gravelly voice that never breaks. That changed Monday night. Diesel was visibly emotional about the passing of his friend Paul Walker. He repeatedly referred to him as his brother and there was no doubt about the closeness the two shared while listening to Diesel remember Walker.
“If he could see for himself that all of you have showed up to show my brother love at this hard time, and his family gets to see all of you show the love that you’ve shown Paul, it’s going to stay with me forever.” Diesel said to the crowd.
Diesel also referenced his relationship with Walker on the screen telling the crowd that he will always love “Brian,” the name of Walker’s character in the Fast & Furious movies. He then referred to how they were as close as brothers both on and off the screen.
Diesel also expressed his love for Walker on social media Monday night. Posting a charming picture of the two friends on Facebook with a caption, “To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die,” a verse from poet Thomas Campbell.
Police have ruled out drag racing as a possible cause of Walker’s accident. The police do believe that the Porsche they were driving is as close to a race car as you can buy. They say that the car has an increased sensitivity to the smoothness of the road.
It would be too tragic if Walker’s death had come from the kind of street racing that was always depicted in his blockbuster movies. Still, it is worth hoping that his death will raise awareness about the dangers of practicing extreme speeds and racing on open roads.
Diesel and Walker were close friends on the set and it is painful to see how much sorrow Walker’s death has caused his co-star. Also on Facebook, Diesel referred to his friend as Pablo, spanish for Paul, a sign of how the two were close buddies. He also wrote “I wish you could see the world right now… and the profound impact, your full life has had on it, on Us… on me…” Vin Diesel’s emotions are shared by many of Walker’s family and friends and fans who came out to the crash site Monday night.
By Nick Manai