Remembering the heroes, the victims of the Aurora Shooting

Friday, July 27, 2012

This is not a typical blog post as Tickle Me Chic is fashion oriented but, in the wake of the Colorado theater shooting, I wanted to do something to hep, to educate people and let the victims know, we as a country, support them and send them healing thoughts and a wave of love.
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A week ago today, an unthinkable crime was committed, threatening and destroying the lives of children, brothers, sisters, mothers, grandparents, etc. Like most media, I will not be talking about the suspect as he does not deserve the attention. This post and every write up out there should be about the victims and what people are doing to help them. And as we remember the victims and lost loved ones, remember to spread love and strength to those around you because you never know when the last time you will see them will be. 

I read an article about Caleb Medley, who is in ICU after an eye injury from the shooting. Him and his wife, Katie, were having one last night out before the arrival of their first son. Now as the new parents sit in the same hospital but different units, hospital bills are piling on, much like the rest of the victims. Family and friends have come together to help raise money for the new parents, and while Caleb still sits in ICU unable to hold his son, donors from all around are helping raise the money needed. "All the money that is donated is going straight to Caleb, Katie and Hugo to help them with medical bills, getting back on their feet, help with the baby items," friend Michael West said in an article from ABC. "Anything and everything that they need."
Caleb and Katie, photo from the Support Caleb Facebook page.
That's just one of the many victims hurt by the shooting. As the community and the country come together in a time of tragedy, we are reminded of the good souls out there.

After trying to deal with personal tragedy, Greg Zanis of Aurora, Illinois now builds crosses for others who have lost loved ones. "It is overwhelming to think about all the crosses I have put up," Zanis said in an article from CNN. "I am doing it for the victims, but this is a public grieving. This allows the public a place to go to and have that big cry."  After being requested for the Columbine shooting victims, he was called upon once more for crosses as a memorial and tribute to the Aurora shooting victims. Zanis doesn't charge for the crosses, nor will he take donations. It's something he does as an outlet to help others heal, after needing something to help him heal.  
photo cred: abclocal.go
While I am 2,000+ miles away from Colorado it still hit home closer than I would have expected. My mom had a home in Aurora for over 30 years and she just recently sold it in January 2012. My family lives out in Colorado and one of my best friends, who lives in Denver, was across the street just hours before the shooting. Waking up last friday, I received the news of the devestating massacre. Immediately, I reached for my phone texting her to see if she was ok, and thank God she was. "It's tragic. So far I know of two friends of friends or family that were there. One is okay and the other is in critical condition. Life is so fragile and we must learn to realize that what truly matters most in life, is life itself," she said. As the day went on, we text back and forth finding out more information about her friends that had planned on going to that tragic showing. Luckily, everyone was safe. But that still leaves all the wounded and lost. As the weekend proceeded, I just couldn't shake the sadness, wondering how is this even possible for someone to do?
Me and Maggie, my best friend in Denver

Tuesday morning one of my Denver friends, who was planning on going to that midnight showing, posted a status from News 9, it was an essay from State Senator Michael Johnston about the shooting. It talked about love and how everyone came together in such a dark time. How strangers helped others and how love always wins.
 Love saved fifty-nine lives. Policemen on the scene in minutes, strangers carrying strangers, nurses and doctors activated all over the city. But we didn't stop there. 
Love saved the 700 other people who walked out of the Aurora movie theater unhurt. But we didn't stop there. Love saved the 5,000 who went to see Batman all over Colorado, and the 1.2 million who saw it all over the country, who walked in and out safely with their friends, arm in arm. But we didn't stop there. Love claimed the four million other Coloradans who went to bed peacefully last night, ad who woke up this morning committed to loving each other a little deeper. The awe of last night is not that a man full of hate can take twelve people's lives; it is that a nation full of love can save 300 million lives every day. 
And when people wonder how they fight back? He said, "The answer is we love back. We live back. We deepen our commitments to all the unnumbered acts of kindness that make America an unrendable fabric. We respond by showing that we will play harder, and longer. We will serve more meals, play more games, eat more food, listen to more jazz, go to more movies, give more hugs, and say more "thank yous" and "I love yous" than ever before."
photos from The Denver Post & News 9, collage made by me
As much heartache as I have for the victims, it's heartwarming to see people come together. As stories leaked out about the heroes of the shooting, it brought tears to my eyes. Learning that three men risked their lives for the one they loved, an incredibly brave 13-year-old baby sitter trying to help a 6-year-old girl she babysat for, a nineteen-year-old man helping a woman save her young kids while he was shot in the leg... all of these people are heroes. They are the ones we need to focus on and give strength to move forward. And while some of them are gone, they will never be forgotten, always known as the superheroes of that night.

How YOU can help:
Caleb Medley
Petra Anderson
Micayla Medak
Farrah Soudani
Yousef Gharbi
Giving First: The page was created with 11 nonprofits for people to give donations
Matt McQuinn: Helping to raise money for the funeral of Matt McQuinn
Rebbca Wingo: Helping to raise money for her family, whom she left behind
Jessica Ghawi:  Helping to raise funds to launch the Jessica Redfield Sports Broadcasting Scholarship.

Take Back The Movies: From the blog: "Tonight, the movie's on us. Go, enjoy. This isn't a fundraiser, it's not a memorial service. Some jerk tried to steal a night of fun from all of us. Tonight, we're giving it back." 

For continued cover go to 9 News Denver or The Denver Post.

Here's a video essay from News 9.


Kelly said...

What a touching post! It's horrible that it takes tragedy to bring people together. While I was searching the internet I came across another website set up to help one of the victims, Ashley Moser. It is horrible that she lost her 6 year old daughter and her unborn child.

It is such a shame that after a few months, talk and such dies down as the media coverage dies down. I feel like people sometimes forget this still happened and individuals are still coping with the tragedy.

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