Americans remember Columbine victims

With words of hope and healing, Americans marked the 10th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, in which two student gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher.

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, Mr 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," Mr Clinton said of the tragedy.

The service drew hundreds of current students, many of them wearing Columbine's school colours, 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-mast 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, as it has every year that the anniversary falls on a school day.

About 70 people gathered outside the state Capitol in Denver to push for gun control, while politicians inside passed a resolution honouring the victims.


More in this Section

South African province prepares 1.5 million graves as virus hits ‘full speed’South African province prepares 1.5 million graves as virus hits ‘full speed’

Significant divergences between Brussels and UK on trade deal, EU saysSignificant divergences between Brussels and UK on trade deal, EU says

Hundreds stranded in Japan as downpours cause more than 60 deathsHundreds stranded in Japan as downpours cause more than 60 deaths

Seoul mayor reported missing amid sexual harassment allegationsSeoul mayor reported missing amid sexual harassment allegations


Lifestyle

Is there a natural treatment I could use instead of steroids and antibiotic drops for dry eye?Natural health: I suffer from chronic dry eye

Denise O’Donoghue checks in with several expats affected by the cancellation of shows in BritainIrish actors on the crisis the West End theatre industry faces

This month marks four decades since the release of the classic record that would also be Ian Curtis’s final album with Joy Division. Ed Power chats to a number of Cork music fans about what it meant to themJoy Division: Forty years on from 'Closer'

Last week, I shared my lockdown experience. I asked for a more uniform approach, should there be another lockdown. I explained that I worked mornings. Maybe I should have been more specific: working 8am to 1pm without a break, I gave feedback and covered the curriculum, using our school’s online platform. In the afternoons, I looked after my three kids (all under ten) while my husband worked. It was a challenging time for everyone and the uncertainty around what I should have been doing as a teacher made it harder.Diary of an Irish teacher: I want to get back to work. But I would like to do it safely

More From The Irish Examiner