“Why the Mask, Bruce?”

Bruce Wayne claims in The Dark Knight Rises, which premiered last weekend, that he masks himself as Batman so that he stands as a symbol; the hero could be anyone. As we all know, a simple trip to the movie theater became a tragic unfolding of events for the people of Aurora, Colorado. We do not make light of the devastation the victims and their families are enduring right now, but we do want to take the focus from the hero on the screen to the heroes off screen.

What does a hero do? Namely, inspire through their generous acts and sacrifice. While several stories and acts of heroism have been shared with the media resulting from Friday morning’s massacre, here is a list of some of the heroes we’ve heard about and would like to take a moment to honor.

Matt McQuinn, 27: McQuinn attended the premier with his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler and her brother, Nick Yowler. When the shooting began both McQuinn and Nick Yowler dove onto Samantha Yowler to protect her from the gun fire; Samantha survived sustaining a gun short wound to the knee. McQuinn sacrificed his life to save his girlfriend and will forever be remembered as a hero.

Jon Blunk, 26: Blunk, a Navy veteran, attended the movie with girlfriend, Jansen Young. When the attack began, Blunk threw Young to the ground and said “we have to get down and stay down,” reports Today.  Blunk used his body cover Young, who was wedged between Blunk’s body and the auditorium seats. His effort was not in vain; his girlfriend survived with no physical wounds.

Alex Teves, 24: Teves, who attended The Dark Knight Rises with his girlfriend, Amanda Lindgren, also acted selflessly and admirably when the gunfire began. He laid down his life to shield Lindgren from the bullets.

While we may never make sense of the madness that occurred at the movies, we can make memories of our heroes.

Cover Photo Source: vulpinoidstudiosone via Flickr

Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.