Sunday, July 22, 2012

The vigil

Rebecca and I have just returned from the vigil for the victims of the theater massacre.  It was the first time I'd ever attended something like this, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it did seem to have a healing effect, even if I'm not one for prayer.  One thing I did while I was there, was I took a lot of time to look at other people that were there.  It was a diverse group, cutting across all racial groups, all ages, and all religions.  I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only atheist there, but for me it wasn't about the prayer, it was about being with people that might be feeling some of the things I'm feeling.

I think the most touching moment happened even before the event began.  There were several naval members standing behind us, obviously friends of one of the victims.  A member of Aurora SWAT was walking down the sidewalk, and he cut across the grass, walking at least 40 feet to shake their hands and tell them he was sorry for their loss.  This was a guy who was probably on the scene at the theater, and he still felt like he had to say something.

When the families came out there was of course a huge round of applause to support them.  Several of them waved at the crowd to acknowledge the support, even as they cried.

Next to the military and the families, Gov. Hickenlooper got the biggest round of applause when he said he wouldn't refer to the shooter by name, but would call him Suspect A.  This is how it should be.  This guy doesn't need to be known.  His name needs to be erased from history, and we need to only remember the victims.

I have to admit that I'm not necessarily a big supporter of President Obama, but he was in town just before the vigil, and rather than going for the cheap political opportunity of showing up at the vigil, he instead chose not to.  He met with the families beforehand, and then left.  I think he deserves big props for that.  For those of you not in the area, you might not know that both candidates have pulled all of their political ads for a few days, seeing that it's not the right time for these things.

And so the healing begins...

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