Aug. 24 will now officially be known as Kobe Bryant Day in Orange County, California. County supervisors passed a vote to create the honorary holiday on Tuesday (Aug. 11).
Orange County Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel said that Bryant — who resided in Newport Beach — was a “treasured member of our community” and “inspired so many men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up.”
The commemorative holiday will land a day after Bryant’s birthday, which is Aug. 23. The NBA legend would have turned 42 years old this year. The date honors both of Bryant’s famed Los Angeles Lakers jersey numbers: 8 and 24.
Supervisor Don Wagner acknowledged Bryant’s obstacles and triumphs after the vote passed.
“Kobe Bryant’s life, like each one of us who ever lived, presents moments to celebrate and to condemn,” he said. “Kobe, like all of us, faced challenges, challenges of his own making and challenges thrown at him by life, that he overcame. Today, we celebrate the effort in overcoming those challenges.”
“So, we strike a balance… the good recognized in the resolution brought here is worth celebrating,” Wagner added.
Bryant perished along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash back in January. Bryant and Gianna were on their way to her basketball game in Thousand Oaks, California, along with six family friends and the pilot. Everyone on the helicopter was tragically killed.
Earlier this summer, Bryant’s wife Vanessa urged Congress to pass a helicopter safety bill that was named after her late husband and daughter.
“I believe there is a chance that Kobe and Gianna would still be alive today if their helicopter had been equipped with the safety equipment required by this pending federal legislation,” she said in a statement. “I strongly urge that the United States Congress pass a federal law that would improve the safety of helicopters operating in this country.”