The Aurora Theatre Massacre
July 27, 2012
Jessica Ghawi, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, John T. Larimer, Alexander J. Boik, Jesse E. Childress, Jonathan T. Blunk, Rebecca Wingo, Alex M. Sullivan, Gordon Cowden, Micayla Medek and Alexander Teves
For our district this has hit particularly close to home. Not only do we represent Aurora, but we also represent the areas incuding the Aurora Century 16 theatre (where it occurred), the Community College of Aurora (where 4 victims attended) , Buckley Air Force Base (4 victims with military service), and the Lead Valley Gun Range (where membership to the suspect was denied), Gateway High School (where one of the victim's attended), Aurora Central Highschool (where evacuees around suspect's apartment were taken), and part of the Anschutz Medical Campus (where the suspect studied).
But everyone has been impacted in some way by the tragedy of what occurred here in Aurora. At some level, we all realize that this could occur anywhere. Even if you didn't know someone immediately involved you know this could have been you, your kids, your grandkids, your parents, your coworkers, or your friends.
As I have listened to the responses of others around me, I have found the most common responses to be:
- we need to honor and remember the victims of this tragedy
- telling the people you love that you love them
- appreciating the people in your life more
- recognition that life can be so fragile and fleeting
- love inspires bravery and courage in others
- gratitude to the Aurora Police Department for their swift response
- gratitude to the medical personnel who have saved lives
- concern that the victim's families are not stuck with unpaid medical bills
Every day we learn a little more about the talents, dreams, service, sacrifice and human side of each of the people who were victims of this tragedy. The survivors face real and ongoing challenges and they need our help. Several victims are still in critical care and are fighting for their lives or for the possibility to regain function.
Please consider donating through the Community First Foundation where a fund has been set up for the victims of the shooting at: https://www.givingfirst.org/.
Behind every person we encounter every day is a whole series of stories of their humanity, hopes, and dreams. Good people who will go on to do good things, possibly without any credit or recognition at all. In a strange way, this has made me want to know more about the stories behind the people I now see everyday.
How different would our culture be if we celebrated what we cherish in each other as much when we are alive as when we pass?
Violence is only made possible when we dehumanize others, either through indifference or antipathy. Every time we extend empathy or kindness, we make violence a little less likely. I liked what Governor Hickenlooper said at the City of Aurora vigil that we honor the victims by living our lives a little bit better.
We should think about that. How can we each best honor these victims by living our lives a little bit better? What would we do differently? Could their legacy be to force us to live up to what is best in us? If all of us lived our lives just a little bit better, in their honor, the world would be transformed.
In the meantime, we should make sure that the families of those who died and those who survived get all of the support they need so they can focus their energy and strength on healing.
Below are photos I took of the community-inspired makeshift memorial in tribute to the victims in Aurora. Thank you to everyone who has shared your love and support.
A View of the City of Aurora Vigil - People Sharing Their Support
Photo: City of Aurora
Photo: The Denver Post
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