Saturday, July 20, 2013

Aurora, one year later

One year ago today, those of us living in Aurora Colorado work up to find the community we live in changed forever.  The anguish once again too familiar and this time it was so close to home.

Twelve people lost their lives that night because they bought a ticket and fate brought them to the wrong theater where a lunatic lay in wait.

Let us forever remember the 12 lives that were lost that night at Century theater.

Johnathan Blunk
A.J Boik
Jess Childress
Gordon W. Cowden
Jessica Ghawi

Jessica Redfield Ghawi memorial

John Larimer
Matt McQuinn
Micalya Medek
Veronica Moser-Sullivan
Alex Sullivan
Alex Teves
Rebecca Ann Wingo

My son Adam could have been in the theater that night.  For some reason he decided to attend the premier of the Batman movie with a different group of friends, 15 miles from his home rather than Century 16 which was 2 miles from home.  I shudder every time I think about that.  Was it a nudge from his guardian angel that steered him away from Century 16 that night?

In the year that has passed since that horrible night what has changed in the community, in our country?

The Century 16 theater reopened in November.  People didn't stop going to the movies.

We watched in horror of another mass shooting in Newton, Connecticut where twenty-six lives were lost at an elementary school.

Again the politicians stepped forward for a moment to capitalize on this tragedy only to recede quickly into the woodwork,  lacking the courage to take a stand. The NRA said the answer to the problem was to have more guns.

No substantive changes have been made and I fear that none ever will.  It is a complex problem and doing nothing leaves an open invitation for another mass shooting to occur.

The shooter has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.  It took an entire year to get to this point.

For me, it took a mass shooting to occur a mile or so from where I raised my family to get me to donate blood for the first time in my life.  I now go on a regular basis, every 6 weeks.  It is such a simple thing to do.  Everyone can do it and I encourage anyone that is reading this to find your local blood bank and become a blood donor.  You can do something meaningful for you community every six weeks.

My son and his co-host went on the air one year ago tonight on Mile High Sports and held an open forum about the shootings to begin the healing process.  There was no talk about sports that night.

Denver Sports Nation partnered with 5280 Shirt Shop to raise money for victims and families of the Aurora shooting.

I met one of the survivors, Jasmine Kennedy at a fund raiser at a local bowling alley. Her leg had been shattered by a bullet and she faced a long road of rehabilitation. Undeterred she bowled that day from a wheelchair, smiling, laughing and providing inspiration to her community with her positive attitude.

Jasmine Kennedy, Thumbs Up!

Eugene Han and Kristin Davis were both in the theater during the shooting and decided to get married today as a way of moving forward, claiming a better day.

So a year later our community is still healing.  We watch and wait and hope there will not be another senseless tragedy in any community.

We are Aurora!

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