Editor's note: Anderson Cooper is broadcasting from Aurora, Colorado at 8 and 10 p.m. ET. He'll honor the shooting victims, tell their stories and speak with a few family members who will share personal memories.
It’s been another heartbreaking day in Aurora, Colorado, as people struggle to come to terms with what happened when a gunman opened fire in a packed movie theater on Friday. At least 12 people were killed and 58 others wounded in what’s considered one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. In the face of grief, so many people are speaking out honoring the victims and remembering the lives that were cut too short by a senseless act. Here are some of the moving tributes:
"I lost my daughter yesterday to a mad man, my grief right now is inconsolable, I hear she died instantly, without pain, however the pain is unbearable. Lord why, why, why????. I sit here and resist this entry however I feel I must, in disgust, in dismay, in prayer, I love you my daughter Rebecca, we all will miss you."
- Steve Hernandez on Facebook, father of 32-year-old shooting victim Rebecca Ann Wingo.
“Her dreams were cut short and we are going to try to sustain those dreams as we move forward. She was an asset to her friends, an asset to her family, an asset to her community."
– Jordan Ghawi, brother of shooting victim 24-year-oldJessica Ghawi
"(Veronica was) a vibrant little girl ... just was bragging about learning how to swim on Tuesday."
– Great-aunt of the youngest victim, 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan
“It’s not surprising to me that his first thought would be her. That’s what a man does: He protects his loved ones. I’m very proud of him. I’m going to miss him.”
- David Jackson, stepfather of Matthew R. McQuinn, 27, who lost his life shielding his girlfriend from the bullets (told to CNN affiliate WHIO)
"It reminds you that even in the darkest of days, life continues and people are strong. Out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come."
– President Obama
"We pray that the wounded will recover, and that those who are grieving will know the nearness of God. Today, we feel not only a sense of grief, but perhaps also of helplessness, but there is something that we can do. We can offer comfort to someone near us who is suffering or heavy laden and we can mourn with those who mourn in Colorado."
– GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney
“Johnny was the type of guy who always wanted to be a hero, he would help anyone and everyone with anything. He wanted to make people smile and laugh, he was always outgoing."
– Ex-wife of victim Jonathan Blunk, age 26
“He saved me and gave me the opportunity to live. I prayed to John last night. John, I love you. So grateful for what you've done for me.”
- Jansen Young, Jonathan Blunk’s girlfriend who was at the movie theater with him
“One of the best men I ever knew. The world isn't as good a place without him.”
- Caitlin, friend of 24-year-old victim Alex Teves, remembering him on Twitter
“I lost a precious soul.”
- Father of 23-year-old Micayla Medek
“She was a great kid, she was just finding herself, she never harmed everybody. She didn’t deserve to die this way.”
- Aunt of Micayla Medek
“Cowden was a true Texas gentleman that loved life and his family. A quick-witted world traveler with a keen sense of humor, he will be remembered for his devotion to his children and for always trying his best to do the right thing, no matter the obstacle”
- Family spokesman on the loss of Gordon Cowden, 51, who took his two teenage children to the theater
“When I think of Jesse, I think of a big nerd someone who was always humorous. Someone who always made the office brighter.”
– Airman Kevin Thao, friend of 27-year-old victim Air Force Staff Sgt. Jesse E. Childress
“Jesse was an invaluable part of the 310th family. He literally touched everyone in the wing - over 1,000 people."
- Lt. Col. Pat Walsh on the death of Air Force Staff Sgt. Jesse E. Childress
“John had a calming personality that everyone seemed to gravitate to. He was one of those extremely competent professionals that had an extraordinary work ethic and was truly dedicated to the Navy and all the sailors he worked alongside. He was a true gentleman in every way shape or form.
- Cmdr. Jeffrey Jakuboski, remembering Petty Officer 3rd Class John Thomas Larimer.
"Alex was smart, funny, and above all loved dearly by his friends and family."
– Statement from the family of Alex M. Sullivan
“It is not this senseless act of violence that marks us as a community. It is the lives and acts of these heroes and the innumerable acts of kindness, love, and care for our neighbors that defines who we are. We will reclaim our city in the name of goodness, kindness and compassion."
– Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan
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