- Special Sections
- Public Notices
We’ve all been sifting through the events of last Friday, and I think it’s entirely appropriate for the Senate to take a moment to acknowledge the victims of this nightmarish rampage, their families, and the wider community of Aurora.
In the life of a nation, some events are just so terrible that they compel all of us to set aside our normal routines and preoccupations, step back, reflect on our own motivations and priorities, and think about the kind of lives we all aspire to live.
This is certainly one of them.
And as is almost always the case in moments like this, the horror has been tempered somewhat by the acts of heroism and self-sacrifice that took place in the midst of the violence. I read one report that said three different young men sacrificed their own lives in protecting the young women they were with.
And we know that the first-responders and nurses and doctors saved lives too, including the life of an unborn child.
I think all of us were moved over the weekend by the stories we’ve heard about the victims themselves. It’s hard not to be struck by how young most of them were, of how many dreams were extinguished so quickly and mercilessly. But we were also moved by the outpouring of compassion that followed, and by the refusal of the people of Aurora to allow the monster who committed this crime to eclipse the memory of the people he killed.
President Obama, Governor Hickenlooper and the religious leaders in and around Aurora are to be commended for the time and effort they’ve put into consoling the families of the victims and the broader community. I think the best thing the rest of us can do right now is to show our respect for those who’ve been affected by this terrible and senseless crime, and continue to pray for the injured, that they recover fully from their injuries.
There are few things more common in America than going out to a movie with friends, which is why the first response most of us had to the shootings in Aurora was to think: It could have been any of us. It’s the randomness of a crime like this that makes it impossible to understand and so hard to accept. But as Scripture says, “the rain falls on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45)
So we accept that some things we just can’t explain. Evil is one of them. And we take comfort in the fact that while tragedy and loss persist, so does the goodness and generosity of so many.
Elaine and I are heartbroken by the shootings in Aurora. This senseless massacre of so many innocent people gathered with friends and family in a movie theater reminds us not only of the great evil that exists in the hearts of some, but of the great and precious gift of life. I join all Americans today in prayer for the victims, their families and friends, and the wider Aurora community, and in heartfelt thanks to all the first responders who quickly responded at great risk to themselves. It is in moments like this that Americans have always drawn closer together and shown their great compassion and generosity to those touched by tragedy and loss. We hope that in the midst of the horror in Aurora, these qualities shine through once again and reach those who are suffering most. America is at prayer today for all who are affected by this tragedy.
And now I’d like to join Governor Hickenlooper in honoring the victims, by reciting their names: Veronica Moser-Sullivan, Gordon Cowden, Matthew McQuinn, Alex Sullivan, Micayla Medek, John Larimer, Jesse Childress, Alexander Boik, Jonathan Blunk, Rebecca Ann Wingo, Alexander Teves, Jessica Ghawi.
We too will remember.
Addison Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell, Jr., is the senior United States Senator from Kentucky. A member of the Republican Party, he is the Minority leader of the Senate. He is the longest serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history.