Monday, April 20, 2009

Columbine remembered ten years later

Well today is an interesting night (did that even make sense?). I was in bed at 8:30 because I only slept for 4 hours last night and started work at 7 this morning, but by 10:10, I could not fall asleep for the life of me! I was hungry and incredibly warm!!! I seriously HATE summer, and while those of you who know of those mythical months called “seasons” and may say it is still spring, here in So-Cal, summer has arrived in all his glory. Today it was 100 degrees…in the middle of April! I pray it cools down soon. I am NOT a happy person in the heat. So, now I am awake, blogging, ate some ice cream and am even drinking half a glass of wine (maybe it will make me sleepy?).
Okay, so I really wanted to post today because it marks the 10 year anniversary (which seems too happy a word) of the Columbine shooting. I have a thing about marking important and historical dates and I figured my blog is as good a place as any to do that very thing. Ten years ago a tragic and terrible event happened at a high school I had never heard of and by the end of the day no one would ever forget. I was in eighth grade. I remember because I had youth group that night (which in junior high I hated going to) and my Mom came in and asked if I was going and when I told her “no” she was concerned that I was spending too much time watching the Columbine coverage. I literally spent the whole day after school watching the news and learning every detail possible. The tragedy of it all consumed me and shocked me. I wondered how something so terrible could happen. I wondered if I would have enough courage to admit I believed in God with a gun pointed at my head the way the student and Christian, Rachel Scott, did. I wondered how I treated my peers at school. Wondered how many people had wished they could do the same tragic thing at my own school. I wondered who the potential suspects would be and what I would do if it happened. I wondered about all the students who saw the shooting up close but weren’t harmed. I wondered about those who weren’t at school when it happened and how relieved or guilty they must feel. I wondered what people must have said to each other when hiding and praying in a classroom. I even wrote a short story about a school shooting as an undergrad to come to terms with all of these thoughts. (I know, I have a dark side…I am reminded often).
It was an event and a day I hoped no student would ever forget who witnessed the tragedy, whether first hand or in the media coverage. I still pray people don’t forget. I pray they remember to treat others with respect and defend those who are mistreated on campus. I pray they realize a smile and a kind word go a long way, even if you are not friends with the person (or don’t want to be). And I pray that people thank God they didn’t suffer that same tragedy in high school, because it could happen to anyone at any school. They say we learn from history; I sure hope we remember what we learned from Columbine.

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