Children of Aurora find strength at vigil

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on July 22, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Updated Sunday, Jul 22 at 10:58 PM

AURORA, Colorado — Thousands of people attended a vigil in Aurora, Colorado Sunday night to honor the victims of Friday's movie theater massacre.

Twelve people were killed and dozens more were wounded when a gunman opened fire in an auditorium packed with people watching the new Batman movie.

The community came together to share their grief and to cement their resolve against the man who was arrested in connection with the unthinkable crime.

There were tears, hugs and many children present who are also struggling to make sense of the tragedy.

The tragedy has pulled this Denver suburb together, but for the children, the deadly violence left behind a haunting memory that shattered their innocence.

"We go to that movie theater all the time, so it's just kind of sad that something like that happened," said young Rachel Ross. She and a friend made a poster to say "thank you" to the first responders and their city.

"It's not really a bad place; it's just this one person that comes and destroys it," Rachel said.

Diana Valencia and her cousins handed out black ribbons in memory of the victims. The six-year-old told us she will go back to the movies.

"The shooter has been arrested, and there's no more shooting at the movies," she said.

They also found strength and hope at this vigil.

"The bad people ... they won't win," Rachel said. "You you can kind of act like you win instead of them."

Parents told News 8 they are struggling to explain this tragedy to their children, but they are having the conversations and explaining that events like this are just the beginning of the healing process.

It was working for young Josh Rutty, who was buoyed by the solidarity he saw at the memorial.

"All these people like just locking arms and stuff... that makes me happy," he said.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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