I was torn about what to write today but I felt that this, being the 14th anniversary of Columbine, was what it should be. Also, considering what just went down in Boston I felt that I couldn't avoid it.
I moved to Colorado from Massachusetts in December of 1998, the middle of my senior year in high school. Four months later Columbine happened. I remember we were at Safeway getting our lunch. I overheard one of the cashiers talking about what was occurring 20 miles away, just down the canyon from us. I panicked. I got back to school and ran into the security guard and asked him what he knew. I asked him if what I had heard was true. He confirmed that I had heard correctly. At this point, nothing had been said at the school and he told me that they weren’t planning on announcing anything until school was over for the day. I thought that was BS and so I grabbed my sister (a freshman at the time) and we went home where we watched the news all afternoon. I later heard that they did announce it and then put the school on lock-down.
At one point we heard that the people who attacked Columbine were on the way to our school. I had never been so glad that I went against school policy to sneak my sister out of school. As details unfolded I remember being in shock. I remember wondering why anyone would want to hurt their fellow students. I remember being so angry that this could have happened. I remember being very wary of kids wearing trench-coats and dark sunglasses. This was not like me. I have always tried to be friendly with everyone, whether we were friends or not, and here I was judging based upon appearances. I didn’t like what I had become but it happens when your world is changed in such a big way and you find yourself questioning what might have been. Eventually I stopped worrying about it, which I guess is a natural outcome. I didn’t live the attack and it didn’t stick with me like it would have if I had been there.
Until Monday, April 15th, 2013, when it all came rushing back. All of the feelings and all of the fear and all of the unknown. I heard about the bombs in Boston and flipped out. You can read about my reaction to it here. Now, five days later, it is the 14th anniversary of Columbine and it seems as fresh in my mind as if it was the 1st anniversary. I was not in MA on Monday, not even close (way out here in Wyoming…hi…) but I am still close to Colorado. My old city and my almost-most-recent one. Huge, horrible things happened to both of them in the same week 14 years apart. One when I was barely into adult-hood and one where I am fully entrenched.
There is one thing I know about both of them and one that I know will happen whenever we are faced with tragedy of a huge magnitude. They overcome. WE overcome. People join together and hold each other up and help one another. They let the evil of the world know that it can’t get to them. Whether memories are 14 years old or 5 days old, we will overcome. We will not forget but we will move forward and become better people. There will always be bad and evil in this world but it won’t win in the long run. We will stand together and support one another until atrocities like these fail to exist because they no longer serve a purpose.