blind_html Fwd: Remembering Columbine

  • From: Nimer Jaber <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 22:11:51 -0600

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        Remembering Columbine
Date:   Mon, 20 Apr 2009 23:06:55 -0400
From:   Jack Lowe <jlowe27@xxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To:       Blind-chit-chat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To:     Chit Chat group <Blind-chit-chat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

LITTLETON, Colo. &ndash; With words of hope and healing, Coloradans
on Monday marked the 10th anniversary of the Columbine High School
shootings that left 12 students and a teacher dead. About 1,000 people
gathered for a sunset memorial service at Clement Park, next to the
school, where survivors, relatives and current students reflected on the
massacre. A dove was released for each of the 13 victims as principal
Frank DeAngelis read their names. Addressing the survivors, DeAngelis
said: "You were forced to grow up far too quickly." Two seniors at
Columbine unleashed an attack with guns and pipe bombs on the morning of
April 20, 1999. A bigger bomb, which they hoped would destroy the
crowded cafeteria, failed to go off. The gunmen, Eric Harris, 18, and
Dylan Klebold, 17, committed suicide. "There are days I feel like it
was yesterday. There are days it feels like a lifetime ago," said Val
Schnurr, a Columbine alumnus who was wounded that day. Bill Clinton,
who was president at the time of the shootings, addressed the crowd in
videotaped remarks. "It's changed you, your community, your fellow
Americans," Clinton said of the tragedy. The service drew hundreds of
current students, many of them wearing Columbine's school colors, blue
and white, and carrying flowers. Many said they scarcely remember the
shootings. "I feel like I owe it to the people who were hurt or killed,
because it's just such a big part of our community," said Alyssa Reuter,
17, who was in second grade at a Littleton elementary school in 1999.
Flags flew at half-staff over the school in the south Denver suburbs,
and mourners lay roses and carnations at the nearby memorial, situated
on a hill overlooking the school. Many wiped away tears. Columbine
called off classes Monday, as it has every year that the anniversary
falls on a school day. A police patrol car idled out front. About 70
people gathered outside the state Capitol in Denver to push for gun
control, while lawmakers inside passed a resolution honoring the
victims. "Columbine will not become just a metaphor for tragedy," Rep.
Ken Summers told lawmakers before they passed a resolution called
"Triumph Over Tragedy." Summers was a pastor in the Columbine
neighborhood when the shootings occurred. At the gun control rally, Tom
Mauser, father of Columbine victim Daniel Mauser, said the shooters did
not kill the victims' spirits, and "they did not kill our spirits
either." Thirteen people with blue and white ribbons wrapped around
their necks lay at the foot of the Capitol steps to represent the
victims, and 23 others representing the wounded encircled them. Andrew
Goddard, of Richmond, Va., whose son Colin was wounded at the Virginia
Tech University massacre two years ago, attended the rally. He said new
police tactics that emerged after Columbine probably saved his son's
life. "They (Columbine victims) paid a huge price for that small
lesson, but that lesson did benefit the students at Virgina Tech," he
said. At Columbine, police and deputies followed a standard tactic of
establishing a perimeter before advancing carefully toward the gunmen.
Afterward, many agencies adopted a new policy of aggressively attacking
a shooter. Virginia Tech student Seung Hui-Cho killed 32 people and
committed suicide on April 16, 2007. Oprah Winfrey canceled an episode
of her talk show scheduled to air Monday, called, "10 Years Later: The
Truth about Columbine." Winfrey posted a message on her Facebook page,
saying that after she reviewed the taped show, she decided to pull it
because of its focus on the two gunmen. She urged viewers to keep the
Columbine community in their thoughts. ___ Associated Press Writers
Alysia Patterson, Steven K. Paulson and Colleen Slevin in Denver and
Caryn Rousseau in Chicago contributed to this report. ___ On the Net:
Columbine Memorial: <> Columbine High
School: <>

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