Washington, D.C. - Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the House floor today in support of a resolution condemning the attack in Aurora, Colorado and expressing the condolences of the House of Representatives to the families and loved ones of the victims and the entire community. Below are the Leader's remarks:
“Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. I thank Mr. Perlmutter for yielding and I'm very sad to join my colleagues in expressing the deepest sympathies of the House of Representatives to the families and loved ones of the victims in Aurora, Colorado, and to the entire community as it grapples with its grief. My colleagues have spoken very movingly from the standpoint of faith and hopefully that faith will be a comfort to those who are affected. As you know Mr. Speaker, when we learned of this tragedy the President ordered our flags to be flown at half-staff for one week to commemorate the tragedy that Aurora, these individual families, and our country had suffered. That was done as a mark of respect for the 12 innocent victims of this senseless violence and for all who were affected.
“Of the victims who were murdered - and that's just the word - that day, the vast majority were very young people. Though one, Gordon Cowden, was a father in his 50s - well that seems young to me, the others were very young - whose last words to his daughters well, to tell them he loved them. Each of them has a story that deserves to be told. Each was beloved. Each left home with a different expectation of what would happen that evening and so did the rest of the country. Several died protecting their loved ones, including, John Blunk, Alex Teves, and Matt McQuinn. Alex Sullivan was about to celebrate his one year wedding anniversary - that was a celebration, going there to the movies. AJ Boik had just graduated from high school. Jessica Ghawi dreamed of being a sports journalist. Micayla Medek and Rebecca Wingo were pursuing their futures at community college. Two victims, Jesse Childress and John Larimer, were active duty military personnel. They signed up to risk their lives for our country, to protect our freedoms, who could have ever thought that they would lose their lives going to the movies? And there's a child, Veronica Moser, who now will forever be remembered as a six year old. What a sad tragedy.
“Most of us here in this body are parents and grandparents, in Steny's case, great-grandparent. And every person knows the feeling of sending a child off to a movie with their friends, the excitement of an opening night and then the worry when the minutes tick by and someone hasn't come home. It is with heavy hearts that we send our thoughts and prayers to the many grieving today. And we continue to pray, thank you for taking us down that path, we continue to pray for the healing for those who survived, both their physical pain and their emotional scars. That's probably the hardest. We send our gratitude to our first responders. When minutes counted - when seconds counted - they responded with bravery and with professionalism.
“In the words of this resolution, the Congress: ‘honors the resilience of the community of the City of Aurora and the State of Colorado in the face of such adversity.' May you feel the support, love, and prayers of our nation. May those tragically taken from us be honored and remembered. May time heal our grief.
“I hope it is a comfort to those who are affected by this tragedy, who lost loved ones, or have injuries in their families, that so many people throughout the world mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”