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Aurora's Going to Be Alright

When I heard the news about the massacre at the Century 16 Theater in Aurora, Colorado, at first I thought it must have been a mistake.  Aurora?  American as apple pie Aurora?  Not my Aurora.

Yes, my Aurora.

BMNB and I began our official coupledom in Aurora.  He still owns a townhouse there.  That theater?  That's the theater we went to on a regular basis.

BMNB went to graduate and law school in Denver.  After a few wanderings outside the state, he returned to Denver to start his career.  When it came time to buy someplace to settle down as a single man, he bought in Aurora.  He liked the diversity, the parks, the people.  The neighborly-ness of it.  Aurora was as cool as Oakland, but without all the crime and congestion.

Then I joined him in 2001. We both knew we were headed towards marriage, and we lived together in his Aurora townhouse and saved up almost every spare penny we had for our wedding so that we would not go into debt.  One of our few token treats to ourselves while we were on our financial austerity diet was to go to the movies.  The Century 16 in particular, since it was less than 15 minutes from our home.

I'm so saddened by the tragedy that has befallen our beloved Aurora.  But if there's any city capable of pulling itself together and pulling through, it's Aurora.

I always thought of Aurora as a cross section of America.  Aurora is racially diverse.  It has transplants from all across the country because it's an affordable suburb of Denver and because of all the military and retired military folks who live there.  I could spend an afternoon at the Peaberry's Coffee there and here a multitude of accents -- Southern, Boston, Ethiopian.  Although many Denverites looked down their noses at Aurora as some soulless suburb, those in the know knew that there was a lot more to Aurora than it got credit for.

I was proud to see Aurora pull together yesterday to remember the fallen.  I was proud of the racial diversity I did see in the crowd and the economic, political and geographic diversity that the world couldn't see.  What Aurora will teach the rest of the nation is that, in times of crisis, our differences don't matter as much as we think they do.

Aurora's going to be alright.  If we as a nation were more like Aurora, we would be, too.


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