Editorial: Twelve names that matter

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Our View

The madman behind the tragedy in Aurora isn't worth knowing, acknowledging or remembering. The people he stole from our communities and our state are the ones who deserve our thoughts, hearts and prayers.

Editorial board members:

• Al Cashion

— Community representative

• Alisa Corey

— Community representative

• Bryce Jacobson

— Newspaper representative

• Jerry Martin

— Newspaper representative

• Patt McCaffrey

— Community representative

• Joshua Roberts

— Newspaper representative

“If there were any plan in the universe at all, if there were any pattern in human life, surely it could be discovered mysteriously latent in those lives so suddenly cut off. Either we live by accident and die by accident, or we live by plan and die by plan.” — Thornton Wilder, “The Bridge of San Luis Rey,” circa 1927

When faced with tragedy, the philosophy Wilder outlined in his classic novel and which many subscribe to — “everything happens for a reason” — comes as comfort for the grieving.

And, who’s to say the author, or people who believe as he did, are wrong?

After all, it’s reassuring when our pain has purpose, that beneath the surface of the chaos and heartbreak lies some kind of plan, a blueprint beyond our grasp, too complex for our mortal comprehension.

It’s a philosophy worth merit.

It’s also a belief easily challenged.

It’s hard to imagine there was a purpose behind the tragic shooting last month in Aurora.

The unspeakable evil at the core certainly raises existential questions, riddles maddening if taken too deep down the rabbit hole.

There is, quite simply, no way to ever know whether the pain inflicted on those innocent people was part of a bigger picture.

For now, we’re left with the anguish of losing 12 people to the violence, another brutal act tarnishing a state known for pristine beauty.

The people lost that night visited the movie theater with friends, family, children, boyfriends, girlfriends, wives and husbands, regular people living their lives as part of a civilized society.

They expected to be entertained, nothing more.

Instead, they were met with a fog of canisters, a barrage of bullets, one angry young man’s barbarism.

His name, this domestic terrorist, and his motive and frame of mind are almost irrelevant.

Attention paid to him, with his glazed expressions and dyed hair, detracts from the innocent who were robbed from their families, stolen from our communities.

Their names are worth knowing, worth remembering.

They are:

Jonathan Blunk, 26.

Alexander “AJ” Boik, 18.

Jesse Childress, 29.

Gordon Cowden, 51.

Jessica Ghawi, 24.

John Larimer, 27.

Matt McQuinn, 27.

Micayla Medek, 23.

Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6.

Alex Sullivan, 27.

Alexander Teves, 24.

Rebecca Wingo, 32.

This list doesn’t include the 58 people who were wounded in the attack, the unborn child one of the wounded was carrying who didn’t survive, or those who thankfully made it from the theater without becoming a name on a list.

For anyone touched by this terrible moment, we offer our thoughts, hearts and prayers.

For them, we carry hope they’re able to find small moments of grace despite the chaos, peace despite questions that can never be answered.

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