Remembering the Columbine tragedy 17 years later

Students mourn the deaths at Columbine High School. (AP Photo)
Students mourn the deaths at Columbine High School. (AP Photo)

By Danielle Silvia

Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., was the tragic site of a massive shooting in which two members of the student body killed 12 people, including fellow classmates and teachers, in a matter of about 50 minutes. This Wednesday, April 20, marks the 17th anniversary of that horrible day.

April 20, 1999, was a normal day for many students at Columbine. Many were about to leave class and have lunch, do some work in the library or spend social time with friends around the school. Two seniors, worshippers of hate, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, dressed in all black, entered the school with firearms and became the perpetrators of the incident before dying by suicide. The boys claimed to have been bullied over the years and this was their way of getting revenge, according to their parents in a Denver Post article from  Nov. 22, 2000.

Those who died include 11 students and a teacher. Many of the students were shot in the library. The killers taunted many of their victims before killing them, witnesses told the Denver Post.

The tragedy struck the nation very harshly, as many turned on their televisions and were shocked to see the news. Viewers who tuned-in saw traumatic scenes such as a window sign in a classroom that read, “1 Bleeding to Death,” which was placed there by students to inform emergency responders of the chaos and was aired on the news, according to a Denver Post article from Nov. 22, 2000. The nation was shocked to see the damage that two students could do to the people they worked with every day.

Today, many of us here at the College are too young to remember this fateful day, but it is very important for us to honor those who died, as well as those who helped save lives. Many people helped comfort the victims as they were dying or helped find people a hiding spot during the attacks. Today, the citizens of the U.S. at large should look back and aspire to act with the bravery that those who helped had.

The school still stands today, surrounded by a beautiful memorial honoring the innocent victims at Columbine. Many students who died in this attack were about to graduate and enter college or pursue other goals, according to another article from the Denver Post on Nov. 22, 2000. They never got the chance to, and today, people should not take for granted how precious life really is.

A memorial now stands at Columbine to remember the tragic event. (AP Photo)
A memorial now stands at Columbine to remember the tragic event. (AP Photo)

There is still gun violence in the world today, but more importantly, there is still hatred being spread around the world. The Columbine shooting event came from so much hatred that should never have been felt. Those who perished had no reason for their lives to come to such an abrupt end. People around the world will always have differences in religion, backgrounds and morals, but it is so important to live fully and not focus on the differences.

Those who died missed many chances to improve the world. Someone could have grown up to become president, find a cure for cancer or find a way to travel back in time. There were so many vital lives that were stolen in the course of the tragic event.

Many people have witnessed tragic events in person or witnessed them psychologically by watching the aftermath on the news. No matter the circumstance, it is important for us to remember these events throughout history and honor those who perished.