Tears, cheers at US massacre vigil

2012-07-23 07:36
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Colorado shooting vigil

About 3 000 mourners gathered three blocks from the multiplex where James Holmes allegedly opened fire on those attending a packed midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. See all the pictures.

Aurora - There were tears for the victims, and cheers for those who prevented even more lives being lost, as the Colorado town of Aurora stood silent on Sunday to grieve the Batman cinema massacre.

About 3 000 mourners gathered three blocks from the multiplex where James Holmes allegedly opened fire on those attending a packed midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on Friday, killing 12 and injuring 58.

"While our hearts are broken, our community is not," Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan told the crowds, many with small children or clutching flowers, as heart-shaped balloons floated into the sky.

The vigil was preceded by an address by President Barack Obama, who said he had "shed some tears" with the families of the dead, but also shared some laughter at warm memories of their loved ones' lives.

Obama did not mention Holmes' name - an emerging theme since Friday's massacre.

Even before he spoke a relative of one of the victims, Jordan Ghawi - whose sister Jessica Ghawi had blogged about surviving a shooting in Toronto only days before she died in Aurora - had pressed Obama to focus on the victims.

Remembering the victims

"Sat down with President Obama. He has been incredible. He too has agreed not to mention the shooter's name," he said on his Twitter account.

And so it was with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who drew applause when he refused to mention Holmes by name, referring to him only as "suspect A" and insisting that the priority should be to remember the 12 victims.

"July 20th should never be about remembering the killer, it should be to about remembering those individuals, remembering those victims. So I ask you to help me here.

He then read out their names, after each of which the crowd chanted, "We will remember."

Then, addressing the deceased victims, Hickenlooper vowed: "We will remember you, we will honour you by celebrating life, by living our lives a little better."

Grandmother Genie Hartley, crying, acknowledged that the Second Amendment of the US constitution enshrines the right to bear arms, but said that what happened in Aurora was not about constitutional rights.

Memorial


"I respect the fact that people have to protect themselves, it's about the second amendment. But what happened in this theatre was not about the second amendment, it's about a massacre," she said.

One big banner read: "Thank you Aurora police, fire and EMS."

A few blocks away, a makeshift memorial has sprung up in front of the cinema, with hundreds of candles, floral bouquets, crosses, American flags, and signs in memory of the victims.

On a small slope, 12 white crosses are lined up, with the names of the victims, flowers and candles around them. Some have baseball hats, black laces and teddy bears attached to them.

People came to leave flowers and kneel and pray in front of each cross.

Heather Lebedoff, aged 24, carried 12 red roses and sobbed as she paid tribute to those who died.

"I'm very sad that something like this is happening. I'm glad to see how some people are showing their loving support. We have to be strong as a community," she said.

She then left one rose in front of each cross and prayed for each of the victims.

Read more on:    james holmes  |  barack obama  |  us  |  us cinema attack  |  movies
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

 
 

Men24.com

Hottie of the day: Jesselyn
This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.