AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – It was two years ago when a gunman opened fire inside an Aurora movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring dozens of others. Friends and families gathered to honor the victims on the anniversary Sunday.

Crosses were placed outside the theater early Sunday morning. There was one for each of the victims. Some families said private prayers and went to the cemetery while others used the day to raise money for those in need and to remain connected to a young man who died too soon.

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Two years later the pain lingers, perhaps most of all, for the parents.

“Our hearts are broken every single day. But what we do on this day is try to celebrate Alex’s life,” said Caren Teves, who lost her son.

Caren and Tom Teves of Arizona remembered their son on the anniversary of his death with a fundraiser in Glendale.

“He would’ve thought this was the coolest thing, having a day in honor, but he probably would’ve been embarrassed about it,” Tom Teves said.

Alex worked with students with learning disabilities. He had a master’s degree in clinical psychology with a goal of working with children to help them improve their minds and bodies.

“It’s just a shame because you look at the love that’s pouring out of here and you had to have such horrific violence,” Tom Teves said.

“It’s a day where you kind of tip-toe through,” said Tom Sullivan, who lost his son also named Alex.

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For Sullivan, the death of his son has a double meaning.

“It’s July 20, which is, you know, the day he was born and the day he died,” Sullivan said.

He has spent these past two years as an activist trying to end gun violence and make communities safer.

“There can’t be fathers who continue to have to bury their sons the way I did,” he said. “That needs to stop.”

“It’s horrific. I don’t want anyone ever to have to experience this. And whatever way I can do that, I’m going to do it,” Caren Teves said.

Caren Teves was reluctant to talk about how she would prevent mass shootings Her focus on Sunday was on her son and helping him, even in death, help children in need. More than 500 attended her son’s fundraiser.

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