10 YEARS: Crow, Perlmutter seek to dedicate National Heroes Day to Aurora a decade after the theater attack

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AURORA | Two Colorado federal lawmakers again want to designate July 20 as National Heroes Day, this time to honor first responders, medical teams and people who sacrificed themselves to save others during the Aurora theater shooting and several other mass shootings since then. 

Congressmen Ed Perlmutter, whose district previously included Aurora, and Jason Crow, the city’s current representative, reintroduced the resolution to the House on Tuesday, 10 years after the Aurora massacre. It seeks to “recognize acts of bravery and courage demonstrated by individuals who have borne witness or been victim to countless other gun violence tragedies across the country, including the recent tragedies in Highland Park, IL, Uvalde, TX and Buffalo, NY,” the duo said in a joint news release.

“…In this tragedy we saw incredible heroism: those who carried the wounded to safety and the first responders and medical teams whose tireless efforts saved lives,” Perlmutter said of the Aurora shooting in a speech on the House floor.  

In Aurora, police notably put gunshot victims in patrol cars and rushed them to local hospitals, fearing the wounded would otherwise die waiting for ambulances to arrive at the scene. 

In the wake of the attack, it also became clear that some movie goers that night were killed protecting others. Twenty-four-year-old Alex Teves was killed shielding his girlfriend from bullets, as was Matthew Robert McQuinn. Jonathan Blunk, 26, was also fatally shot, but not before pushing his girlfriend under a seat. John Larimer also saved the friend he was with that night, pulling her behind some seats.

“Ten years ago, everyday heroes sacrificed to protect victims of the Aurora theater shooting,” Crow said in a statement. “In difficult times, it’s often the first responders and plain-clothes heroes who come to our rescue. Today we thank them and honor their sacrifice on our behalf. In recognition of those heroes in our community and around the country, we mark July 20th as a day to honor the servant leadership of our fellow citizens.”

The lawmakers originally introduced the National Heroes Day resolution two years ago, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when everyday citizens, including medical professionals, grocery workers and other essential personnel, were helping their communities weather the global health crisis. 

“The goal of the resolution is to designate every July 20th as National Heroes Day to serve as a reminder for all of us to exhibit the same spirit of courage and service shown by everyday heroes by performing good deeds and engaging in community service or other charitable activities,” the two lawmakers said. 

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