AURORA, Colo. -- Every year, on July 20, we remember and honor the 12 people who lost their lives at the Century 16 Theater in 2012.
Families and law enforcement gathered at a memorial service Wednesday, which was held at the Aurora Municipal Building.
Four years later, the date brings up a lot of memories.
“Sheer terror. Sheer panic,” remembers Heidi Soudani.
Soudani remembers chaos and a feeling of anguish, not knowing what happened to her daughter Farrah as she watched the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.
After calling all the hospitals, she finally found out Farrah was in surgery and in very bad shape.
“They were frantically trying to save her life. They let us be right there where they were doing it in case she didn’t make it,” said Soudani.
But she did make after an incredible fight for her life.
Four years later, Soudani said the quick actions of police officers, who literally held Farrah’s organs in her body, saved her and she’s incredibly thankful.
“I also feel heartbroken for the people whose families didn’t make it out of there,” said Soudani.
Heather Dearman is one of those people.
Her cousin, Ashley Moser, was shot and paralyzed in the theater, and her unborn child and 6-year-old daughter, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, were killed.
“Children have such an innocence about them and such a zest for life like Veronica did. She was always smiling and full of life and we have to learn from that. We have to learn that every day we should treasure every moment,” said Dearman.
Lt. Jad Lanigan and Commander Michael Dailey were among the first officers to arrive at the theater that night, and the two stood side by side with other officers at the memorial.
“Every once in a while you’ll have a bad dream, and every once in a while you’ll see one of your officer’s hurting,” said Lt. Lanigan.
The 720 Memorial Foundation also marked the fourth anniversary by continuing to raise money to build a memorial at the Aurora Municipal Center.
Right now they’re $90,000 short of their $400,000 goal to build the memorial.