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Reveal

Grieving in a Fishbowl

After a mass shooting, the media descends on the victims. They’re asked time and again what they saw, what they felt and why they think it happened. After the dead are counted and the shooter’s motives are scrutinized, the survivors try to cope and move on.

Heather Martin was a senior at Columbine High School in Colorado when two teenagers shot and killed 12 students and one teacher. More than a decade later, 12 people were killed and dozens more injured in a shooting at an Aurora movie theater, just miles from where Martin lived.

To create a space for survivors to talk about their grief and traumatic new realities, Martin co-founded The Rebels Project, a nationwide support network that connects survivors of mass tragedy to help them process their experiences.

Martin says she desperately wants the group to stop growing, but every year, more members are joined by tragic circumstances.

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