For the seventh time, community members will gather to honor the lives lost in and those affected by the Aurora theater shooting.
“I just really think that the community loves that we’re all together every year,” said Heather Dearman, chair of the 720 Foundation, which is hosting the vigil. “Sometimes new people come and they’re welcomed. And they might not have been ready in years before, but if they come tonight it’ll just be a beautiful experience.”
Just after 11:30 pm, a candlelight vigil will be held, followed by a first responder’s processional. Dearman said that every year the gathering is peaceful, serene and healing.
Now that the Ascentiate memorial is there, Dearman said the statue is the physical embodiment of the love and healing that takes place there.
The sculpture, composed of 83 four-and-a-half-foot metal cranes that fly toward each other and then sweep together toward the sky, is a symbol to Dearman of the Aurora community coming together after the tragedy.
“I think it’s a beautiful way to honor the 13 lives that were lost because they’re looking down on us and they’re wanting us to remember that there is more love in the world than hate,” Dearman said. “They’re seeing exactly that when we’re gathering.”