Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Memorial that is no more

What follows is my immediate reaction the evening I went to the Aurora Century 16 Memorial.  This was shortly after I had moved into the city in Early August.  Since September 20th The city of Aurora shut down the memorial, and put almost all the items into storage.  A handful of items are on display in the entry of the Municipal building, but they are static and empty.  Nothing new can be added, and the people of Aurora are left with an empty plot of land that can be developed now, instead of something that was living and healing.

                                                         THE MEMORIAL
                                                         Mark G Richards

Early this evening I went to the memorial.  What memorial you ask?  Well I don't mean the Lincoln Memorial, I am no where near Washington D.C.  And it wasn't the Arizona Memorial in Hawaii, either.

No, I am talking about a memorial that before July 20th of this year did not exist.

I am referring to the memorial to those who were brutally killed at the Aurora Century 16 movie theater.

People were stunned by this bizarre killing.  A killing that was deliberate and senseless.

People responded.  Votive candle, oceans of them, stuffed animals signs and placards... one stating that "Aurora Still Stands"

Wind spinners, photos of the dead, art work flags and tee shirts.  From children to adults,  there was no age barrier divided those who contribute, or those who visit.

The Memorial is a living and growing thing.

Will it stop?

Maybe... sometime  sometime when wounds heal, justice is served and when some other tragedy makes us forget what we should not.

The Memorial

On September 20th 2012, the city of Aurora closed down the living memorial that had been located at Sable Blvd and Centerpoint, across from the Centerpoint Mall and the RTD Centerpoint station. The items are in storage for the most part.  Some items are on display at the Municipal Building.

The excuse that the city gave was that the weather was changing, and that they had spoken to the family members of those who had lost family.  That everyone was in agreement that this was the best thing.

Well not all of us feel this was the best thing.  The city has locked up the majority of the items in an undisclosed location, where only family members will have access.

The memorial was a mix of candles, teddy bears, crosses, cards photos and more.  What ever someone felt was fitting, and in good taste was there, and every time there were more items.  It was a growing and living memorial.  Not static and not one with hands off labels every where.

People sent things from Missouri, Israel, all over to the memorial.  It gave people a place to come, to grieve and most importantly, a place to remember.

Now it is one more vacant lot up for sale.  For profit was behind the citys reason to shut down the memorial.

The people of Aurora need this memorial, we don't need another tract of land developed into a mini mall.

We also need the Century 16 movie theater to be reopened.  Perhaps the theater where Batman rise of the Dark Knight was showing, can be used as a place for the memorial.

Aurora needs this, we want our memorial back.

We need to remember and heal. We need there to be justice and we need to be sure this never happens again.

                                                 THE MEMORIAL 
A photographic journey, all photos by MG Richards except for photos of MG Richards, these photos were taken by David of Miami.
People stop to view the memorial.

Candles of all kinds, left in memory.

Banners and Placards from all over.

Photos of those who lost their lives.


More photos of those who died.

A gopher praying.  Life continues.

Me at the memorial.  Photo by David from Miami

David from Miami.