The Herald Bulletin

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July 21, 2013

A year after movie shooting, Colorado seeks healing

(Continued)

AURORA, Colo. —

"It is absolutely a miracle that 58 people survived that night," she said.

Mourners clutched white roses and, as the ceremony ended, laid them beneath a large wreath bearing the inscription, "In memory of those lost and those whose lives were forever changed."

After the ceremony, residents volunteered for projects — tending a community garden, sorting food bank donations, donating blood. Spiritual and mental health counselors were available, along with art therapy projects and poetry readings.

Eugene Han and Kirstin Davis, both injured in the Aurora shooting, marked the anniversary Saturday afternoon by getting married — a union that turned July 20 into a celebration. Friends who also survived the shooting took part in the ceremony at Village East Baptist Church in Aurora as senior pastor Robert McClendon gave a prayer for the couple and for those still grieving.

"This time is both happy and sacred," McLendon said.

Several hundred yards from City Hall, people visited 12 crosses erected near the cinema where the attack took place. James Holmes, accused of the shooting, was arrested outside the theater in the aftermath of the rampage.

Holmes has been charged with murder, attempted murder and a list other offenses. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Democratic state Rep. Rhonda Fields, whose district includes the theater, said she is still numb and in mourning.

"It hasn't fully mended after a year," she said.

Fields said she wasn't surprised by that. Her son, Javad Marshall-Fields, and his fiancee were shot to death in 2005 to keep Marshall-Fields from testifying in a murder trial.

"I'm all too familiar to losing someone to gun violence," Fields said.

On Friday and Saturday, Fields and other volunteers read the names of more than 2,500 people killed in gun-related violence in the U.S. since the Newtown, Conn., massacre in December. The last volunteer to read names was Stephen Barton, who was wounded last year in the theater shooting.

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