At this point in time, 12 are dead and 58 injured. Some of those injured are in critical condition. Some of those will not make it.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those families that have lost their loved ones as well as with those injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Aurora, Colorado. My God, our thoughts and prayers are with everybody. We need them more than ever before.
Where do we go from here? Possibly a beginning is as simple as helping each other with our loads as we cross the streets of our lives. Silly nonsense, you might say. Maybe not. Because there has to be a better, safer way to live as a community. Our community. Our family. There has to be a better, safer way. If there isn’t, then we are completely lost.
My youngest son, a bright, 20-year-old, A-student, psychology major heading to the University of California in Santa Cruz, fears that our society is on its last legs. He fears that we cannot get better or live in a safer community. I disagree. And deep down, he does, too.
He does believe that we can live in a safer, better way. But his belief, his hope, gets paralyzed by moments like the shooting in the movie theater around 12:30 a.m., July 20, 2012. Just like the rest of us. But I, too, hold on to the belief that we can do better. That we can live a safer, more communal way. I believe it with all my might.
I love my two sons, Brennan and Sean. I love my wife, Eileen. They are safe. Ironically, my two sons went to the local opening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Their show, like the one in Aurora, Colorado, started at just after midnight. They were in a crowded theater, too, just like the other one. They settled into their seats, popcorn and soda at the ready. Just like the other one. The theater darkened and the movie began. Just like the other one. Nearly three hours later, they emerged from the theater, not just like the other one, thank God. They were all right. They were fine. So was everybody else. All were OK.
But here’s the deal. And here’s the hope: We will stand with Aurora, Colorado, forever. We will stand with you. It isn’t much, I know. But America, I hope and believe, will stand with you forever, long after the situation settles and the news crews leave. Long after the funerals – God Bless them all – are finished. Long after the days move from bearable to desirable, we, I believe, will stand with you.
And maybe that’s why we will do better. Because on July 20, 2012, we came together over the unimaginable tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. We will stand together. We will be together.
You can count on that. Talk soon.