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FSU

Columbine 10th Anniversary

I haven't been able to concentrate all day. Being short a dose of medicine didn't help, but it was more what was weighing on my mind and heart. Any historian knows that April 20th is Hitler's birthday, but more than that it's the anniversary of the Columbine tragedy. It's been ten years and did I not have a diploma, almost two to my name, I'd swear it was yesterday.

Despite living on the opposite side of the country, Columbine defined my high school experience in a way that even the VA Tech tragedy couldn't shape my college years. One day I'm in the library at lunch discussing the news with Mrs. Mertins, the next my high school is crawling with police and everyone's stunned. New dress codes and other safety measures followed, which made the impact very real. If it could happen in Columbine, it could happen anywhere.

I found out about Columbine during my lunch and then had to function the rest of the day. Not easy and it's forever etched this date in my memory in a place that not even 9/11 can hold. Included in that is the fact that the LHS memorial for Columbine closed with "I Will Remember You", which I will forever associate with that event. And the fact that blue and white ribbons adorned my backpack far longer than an American flag or orange and maroon ribbons would later.

However, I'm not the same person I was then and many of those involved have moved on as well. Patrick Ireland, the kid who fell out of the second story window, is now recovered and married. And today's memorial in Littleton, CO was about hope and prevention not moping. This was conveyed by parents and the principal, who have all learned to live with the events of that day. The principal even apologized to the Class of '99 for the end of the year, and thanked the faculty from that year for their help. Also, ten years has cleared up the view of the killers, as they are no longer viewed as misguided souls who were bullied, but rather just McVeigh wannabes. Also, the charges that they singled people out by faith or athletic ability have been proven false. Two books are being released soon and I think I might actually buy one.

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