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Families impacted by Aurora theater shooting pay tribute to Mayor Steve Hogan

AURORA, Colo. -- The leader of Colorado’s third-largest city has entered at-home hospice care. Mayor Steve Hogan confirmed his cancer diagnosis in March.

Hogan has been mayor of Aurora since 2011 and became known across the country as he comforted residents following the Aurora Theatre shooting in 2012. Hogan took to Facebook on Wednesday to tell Aurora residents his life cause is public service. He said it has been his honor to serve as a state representative, Aurora city council member and mayor.

“He made himself available,” Theresa Hoover, who lost her son in the theatre shooting, told FOX31. “I know he went to a lot of funerals.”

With more than three decades in elected office-- at the state and city level-- Hogan was known as a fierce advocate for Aurora. His colleagues say he worked overtime with various regional organizations and traveled the country to promote his city.

“He always wanted Aurora to be the best,” Aurora Mayor Pro Tempore Marsha Berzins said. “He never gave up on trying to get that done.”

A memorial garden to honor the lives lost in the movie theater is expected to be dedicated on July 27, 2018. It will be a big part of Mayor Hogan’s legacy, according to Heather Dearman—a family member of both a survivor and victim of the theatre shooting.

A successor for Hogan has not been named. The city charter of Aurora allows the city council to appoint an interim mayor when there is a vacancy.

The following statement was released by Mayor Hogan on Facebook Wednesday:

"Dear Friends:

To tell you the truth, I have never been much of a believer in term limits. I wanted you to know that my time as Mayor of Aurora will end sooner than I had desired. I have entered into home hospice care, with the understanding that my future days will be lived with dignity, grace, and in peace.

Please know that for yesterday, today and hereafter, my cause of life is public service. It has been my distinct honor to serve first as a State Representative, then a Councilman and finally as Mayor of Aurora. Thirty four years of elected office, many more of consequential service, have passed far too quickly. I am most proud that each day I gave my best efforts and heart for the betterment of this great city, region and state. I would respectfully encourage each person reading this message to embrace the honor of public service—continually seeking to enrich the lives of our fellow residents. It is in this honor, in this service, where leadership and inclusive governance will flourish.

Aurora is my heart. She has gracefully transitioned from a gateway suburb on the plains to the 54th largest city in the country. Our parks, libraries and city services foster great pride and lend to the remarkable character of our neighborhoods. Even more, the people of Aurora define this city. We have grown, we have grieved, we have overcome and we shall continue to prosper together. A heartfelt thanks to my former and current colleagues and to all the city employees—what an honor it has been to serve with each of you.

Aurora, a new dawn awaits. Thank you for allowing me to live my best life."

 

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