The Herald Bulletin

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July 21, 2013

A year after movie shooting, Colorado seeks healing

AURORA, Colo. — Some recited the names of the dead. Some did good deeds for their neighbors. Some practiced yoga, walked through nature, or simply talked. And two got married.

Coloradans embraced ways to heal Saturday as they marked the anniversary of the Aurora movie theater massacre with a city-sponsored "Day of Remembrance."

It was one year ago that a gunman opened fire into a packed midnight screening of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises." The rampage lasted less than two minutes but left deep wounds that still ache in Aurora, Colorado's third-largest city which spreads out across the rolling plains on Denver's eastern side.

Twelve people died, including a 6-year-old girl. Seventy were hurt, some of them paralyzed. Countless others inside the theater and out bear the invisible wounds of emotional trauma.

Parents, siblings and survivors of those slain attended a morning ceremony of prayer, song and remembrance outside Aurora's city hall.

Several hundred people — including police, fire personnel and members of Colorado's congressional delegation — bowed their heads as the names of dead were read. A small bell tolled after each. The Hinkley High School choir sang "Amazing Grace."

"One year ago, the peace of our community was shattered," Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said. "We are still seeking justice."

"It is important for us to remember that one senseless act does not, cannot and will not define us as a community," Hogan added. "This is a story of resilience, not just of Aurora but of humankind."

Gov. John Hickenlooper told the crowd that many people still struggle with unanswered questions.

"I know I do," Hickenlooper said.

Dr. Camilla Sasson, an emergency room physician at the University of Colorado, struggled through tears as she recounted the efforts of police and medical personnel to save lives.

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