Story of resilience’: Aurora pays homage to shooting victims

Aurora holds solemn day of remembrance 2:18

Coloradans paid tribute to the victims of the Aurora movie theater massacre with a city-sponsored "Day of Remembrance" marking the one-year anniversary of the shooting on Saturday.

The day’s events began early with a community gathering on the lawn of the Aurora Municipal Center.

Twelve people between the ages of six and 51 died in the attack and dozens more were shot when James Holmes allegedly opened fire at a midnight movie showing. 

Early Saturday, Aurora police paused for a moment of silence on their radio scanners at 12:38 a.m., the exact time the shootings took place, NBC station KUSA reported. The moment of silence lasted for 38 seconds.

Survivors joined parents and siblings of those killed at a morning ceremony outside Aurora's city hall. Several hundred people bowed their heads as the names of the dead were read by Mayor Steve Hogan and Gov. John Hickenlooper, The Associated Press reported. A small bell tolled after each name.

Stephanie Wacker, 18, attends a remembrance ceremony July 20, 2013 in Aurora, Colo. Dana Romanoff / Getty Images

"One year ago, the peace of our community was shattered," Hogan said, according to the AP. "We are still seeking justice."

"It is important for us to remember that one senseless act does not, cannot and will not define us as a community," Hogan added. "This is a story of resilience, not just of Aurora but of humankind." 

"As we remember, we go forward," Hickenlooper said, according to The Denver Post

A local pastor offered a community prayer, while the Hinkley High School choir sang “Amazing Grace,” KDVR reported. Tears streamed down the faces of those is attendance.

Jessica Almand told the Post she was at the movies the night of July 20, 2012. She said she had come to the memorial ceremony to pay tribute to those killed but also to show her resilience.

"But I'm here to show everyone I'm still strong, and to remember everyone who died," she told the newspaper.

Gatherings and community service projects were planned throughout the city following the ceremony, the Post reported.

Community members gather at a remembrance ceremony July 20, 2013 in Aurora, Colo. Dana Romanoff / Getty Images

The Associated Press contributed to this report.