ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - It seems like it was just yesterday, but it's now been six months since the shootings in the valley, and Thursday afternoon the victims and first responders were honored at the Catholic Charities of Herkimer County's 8th Annual Window of Hope Award Luncheon at Francesca's Banquet Hall in Ilion.
The event was emceed by NewsChannel 2 News Director Steve McMurray.
McMurray, who is also a resident of the valley area, told the crowd that everyone in the valley remembers what they were doing when they heard about the chaos that was unfolding back on March 13th, "It was an event that shook the region to its core, this doesn't happen here is what we felt."
But it did. Six people were shot during the shooting spree, four died, two survived.
The two who survived were honored by Catholic Charities of Herkimer County with the organization's annual 'Window of Hope' award.
Catholic Charities of Herkimer County Executive Director Terry Leonard says when the board met earlier this year to discuss this year's luncheon, it was obvious who this year's recipients should be, John Seymour and Dan Haslauer.
Seymour owned John's Barber Shop in Mohawk where he and Haslauer, one of his customers, were shot.
Seymour took the podium Thursday and told the packed house the shooting obviously changed his life, "I was a little blind that day, because I was going through life like everyone else does. But that really opened my eyes to how wonderful, I'm going to get emotional now, how wonderful this area is when things like this happen."
Haslauer let Seymour do the talking for him at the podium, but he talked with News Channel 2 and says he still suffers from the gunshot wound he received that day, "Oh I am still going to the hospital everyday for two hours. I go in a chamber because the wound won't heal where I got shot."
Haslauer believes there is a reason why he survived and why he continues to recover from his injuries, that reason is his wife, children and grandchildren.
He says he has already achieved one major goal, "When I was in the Masonic Home, I couldn't even walk when I went there, I said my granddaughter got married August 23rd and I said I was going to dance at her wedding, and I did."
Also honored on Thursday were the four men who didn't survive getting shot that day, Harry Montgomery and Michael Ransear who were also shot at John's Barber Shop and Thomas Stefka, and Michael Renshaw who were shot five minutes later at Gaffey's Jiffy Lube in Herkimer.
Diocese of Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard told the crowd they will always be remembered, "Like the victims of 911 and like the victims of Newtown, CT, they will never be forgotten."
Finally, the many first responders who put their lives on the line during those horrific events in March were also honored.
The fire and police chiefs of numerous departments, as well as representatives from the state police and Herkimer County Sheriff Christopher Farber were all honored.
Herkimer Police Chief Joseph Malone says some people may have taken first responders for granted in the past, but not as much now, "I think that people recognized us more after the incidents, not only the shootings in March but again after the floods in June and July. They realized we're kind of in the background unless they have a problem, but we're always there."
For more information regarding Thursday afternoon's event, click on the video below: