With candles, songs and flowers, hundreds of mourners gathered to remember the victims who died in the King Soopers shooting this week.
Wednesday night’s vigil was not the first remembrance for the deceased. Houses of worship had held virtual services since the shooting and people gathered Monday night in a park near the grocery store. A police procession Wednesday afternoon escorted the body of Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley, who was killed in the line of duty, from Boulder to a funeral home in Aurora.
Memorials in front of the grocery store and at a patrol car continue to garner flowers, candles and notes for Talley, as well as Denny Stong, Neven Stanisic, Rikki Olds, Lonna Bartkowiak, Teri Leiker, Suzanne Fountain, Kevin Mahoney, Lynn Murray and Jody Waters.
Yet at Wednesday night’s vigil, held outside the Boulder County Courthouse, the community held dual space for mourning and resilience, a space to come together in a time when gathering for any occasion has been rare.
The coronavirus pandemic kept masks on faces, but the risk of a virus was worth it for many who needed a comforting hug, a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on. Musicians played and sang songs of grief and solidarity. A longtime Boulderite led the crowd in Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” a local favorite. Someone else led “Amazing Grace.”
Speaking to the community, Interim City Manager Chris Meschuk recalled a post-Columbine vigil. Offering a path moving forward, he said, “Let’s heal together.”