(Photos courtesy of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department)
Ventura County marked the first anniversary of a painful and tragic event in Thousand Oaks that claimed the lives of 12 people by remembering and honoring them and also taking a first step in the effort to heal.
It was a year ago that a gunman opened fire in the Borderline Bar and Grill and Thursday afternoon the community's response was to dedicate what is known as the "Healing Garden" in Conejo Creek Park North.
The Healing Garden offers a strong counterpoint to the senseless violence of that night with a place of peace and reflection that is a tribute to the 12 who lost their lives.
It will hopefully provide a place where their families and all those touched by what happened can go to seek solace and never forget what special people they were.
(Photos courtesy Ventura County Sheriff's Department)
Thursday's dedication of the "Healing Garden" followed an unveiling ceremony on Wednesday that honored Ventura County Sheriff's Sergeant Ron Helus who gave his life rushing into the Borderline to confront the gunman.
They unveiled a sign that dedicates a portion of the 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks as the Ron Helus Memorial Highway.
(Above photo courtesy of Ventura County Sheriff's Commander Romano Bassi)
The families of those who were killed have said they've been comforted in their grief by the outpouring of love and support they have received by, not only the community, but also from far beyond Thousand Oaks and Ventura County.