In this July 14, 2015 photo, Sandy Phillips, whose daughter, Jessica Ghawi, was killed in the 2012 Aurora movie theatre massacre, displays a T-shirt memorializing the 12 people killed in the attack, outside the Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, Colo., following the day of closing arguments in the trial of James Holmes. From left top are, Alex Teves, AJ Boik, Alex Sullivan, Gordon Cowden, Jesse Childress, Jessica Ghawi, John Larimer, Jonathan Blunk, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, Rebecca Wingo, Micayla Medek, and Matt McQuinn. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

AURORA | Two metro Denver congressmen have introduced a resolution designating July 20 as “National Hero’s Day” to honor “the sacrifices of everyday heroes.” 

The resolution, penned by Aurora Congressman Jason Crow and Denver Congressman Ed Perlmutter, was inspired by four men who died shielding others during the Aurora theater shooting in 2012: Jonathan Blunk, 26, John Larimer, 27, Matt McQuinn, 27, and Alex Teves, 24. 

Twelve people died in the shooting and 70 were injured during a midnight premier of superhero film “The Dark Night Rises.”

“Eight years ago, our community faced tragedy. Our recovery and ability to come together was only possible because of the heroes among us whose courage and bravery showed us a path forward in our time of crisis,” Crow said in a statement. “We are facing a different reckoning today as our country battles COVID-19, but the service and sacrifice of our frontline workers once again inspires us to move forward. In recognition of those in our community and around the country, we mark July 20th as a day to honor the heroism and servant leadership of our fellow citizens.” 

Colorado Congressmen Joe Neguse and Scott Tipton have also signed onto the resolution as co-sponsors.

While the four Aurora heroes gave rise to the resolution, Perlmutter said the timing of this resolution, amid a pandemic, isn’t lost on him.

“These men are four examples of the countless other individuals demonstrating courage, initiative and bravery and stepping up for their communities every day. This is particularly visible during the coronavirus pandemic where we have seen tremendous acts of selflessness and heroism by so many,” Perlmutter said in a statement. “During trying times it’s important to remember the heroes among us who answer the call to save lives and set a shining example for generations to come. That’s what this resolution is all about – recognizing fellow citizens for their heroic actions in a time of need.”

— KARA MASON, Staff Writer