We drove to our local JC Penney’s on Monday for Reagan to get a free back-to-school haircut (going on the entire month of August by the way) before her first day of Kindergarten on Tuesday. It happens to be at the Aurora Mall where the Century 16 Theater shooting took place. While we drive by the Memorial often, we haven’t taken the time to stop and visit since the very first weekend it was erected. So, on Monday, we took the time.
Part of me would like to shield Reagan from the tragedy, but, since it happened in her neighborhood, I was concerned she may hear about it from friends and eventually at school – which happened sooner that I thought it would. There were numerous phone calls from the Aurora School District advising us that counseling was available if needed and offering help on how to talk to your children about it. I decided she should know why the Memorial we pass by from time-to-time with people milling around, was there, and I wanted her to hear it from me.
I explained that the Memorial was a way for us to pay tribute to some very ordinary people, just like us, who had lost their lives here a few days before. “It’s where we come to remember them,” I said.
Since that first visit, the Memorial has grown and grown. The outpouring of sympathy and support from all over the country, has been tremendous. Here are photos from then and now.