Jurors Jessica, Sarah and Mona as their hands are interwoven while walking downtown. Courtesy photos
BY TOM BARRY
Four new friendships recently developed after meeting in the most unlikely of scenarios.
The new friends—Mona, Jessica, Lydia and Sarah—served as jurors, spending more than 100 dark days together, unable to talk about the Aurora theater shooting trial.
After the emotionally filled and gruesome trial, the women for the first time spoke amongst each other and exchanged phone numbers.
The women requested anonymity, asking that only their first names be used to protect their privacy.
“The four of us had kind of gotten together a few times … as a support group for each other,” said Mona, a Littleton resident who works in the energy industry. “At one of those get-togethers, we were thinking of some way that we could try to take all of the bad feelings and horror that we saw … to do something positive.”
The jurors learned of the 7/20 Memorial Foundation. The City of Aurora is constructing a xeriscaping garden adjacent its municipal center, and the foundation is raising money to include special amenities, including park benches and artwork.
Mona says her group has a goal of raising $200,000 by Dec. 6.
“I think it would be beneficial for everyone to have a peaceful place to go to remember the people, instead of the images and stories that came out of the trial,” she said. “I struggle with how to convey to people as to how horrible it was. I think if everyone had to sit through that trial and see what happened, hear what happened, go through every bullet-impact point, it would not be a question of wanting to give.”
Mona believes each tragedy—from the United States to France—should be memorialized in a positive manner, allowing everyone an opportunity for reflection and healing.
WhichWich Superior Sandwiches, a franchise sandwich chain with stores in Colorado, donated 15 percent of its proceeds from Front Range locations on Nov. 21.
“Some of the family members came over actually while we were there and thanked us for our service. That was unexplainably heart-wrenching,” Mona said.
Contributions to the 7/20 Memorial Foundation are tax deductible. For more information, call 303-739-7280 or visit www.auroragov.org.
Jessica, Sarah and Mona who served as jurors in the Aurora theater trial, are actively involved in raising funds for the 7/20 Memorial Foundation. Lydia, not pictured, is also actively involved.
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