In Denver on October 4, 2011 by Todd Cardon Tagged: , , ,

April 20th 1999, I was in 7th grade, attending Deer Creek middle school, my last class of the day, social studies. Our class was excused early for the day. I walked down the halls and realized that the entire school has been dismissed. What was going on I wondered? Was there a blackout? Was it a community event? I had no idea.

I walked outside where my parents were, waiting across the street. I saw and heard helicopters hovering towards the east side of town. My family explained the situation that there was a shooting at a high school nearby. I didn’t understand? I didn’t really know anyone in the area, our family only lived in Littleton at the time not even a year.

I looked around and witnessed students all around me in tears. The look on my cousins’ face looked devastating, for she had lived in Littleton her whole life and knew many faces in the area.

To better explain the situation, my family turned on the radio as we were driving home. I heard reporters frantically sharing information of the incident. Students were interviewed. One poor girl described being in the library begging for her life as the suspect grinned at her and shot others around her.

I still did not understand. We went home and witnessed on television the SWAT Team motioning students out of the building with their hands behind their heads. I still could not understand. How could a perfectly good, wholesome community like Littleton Colorado have such a horrific incident like this?

Days and weeks later, we still could not believe what happened. We realized that the candy machines that we maintained regularly happened to be at the place Eric Harris Dylan Klebold worked in Black Jack Pizza. I’m sure thousands of others thought of similar instances. Thinking of the time they went to the grocery store, or sat in a classroom, or simply passing by, not having a clue that Eric and Dylan had such a malicious plan ahead. How many innocent lives were taken from such foolish actions?

Graduation was near for the seniors. Columbine had to join up and attend the rest of the semester at their rival high school, Chatfield, the school I attended eventually. President Clinton, took some time to visit the students, giving them hope and encouragement.

Two summers later, it was a clear July evening. Many of our friends were gathered in the backyard, lighting fireworks. One of the rounds of fireworks consisted of a large packet of black cats. As they were going off, I went inside the back door to get a drink in the kitchen. It was dark but in the distance was a girl slouched over, covering her ears. Those fireworks outside must have brought back horrid memories when she was there during the Columbine incident.

Let us hope that such tragedies can be minimized. Because much study has taken place of Eric and Dylan, anti bully campaigns began taking action. I’m sure other programs were formed and lessons learned pertaining to safety, security, you name it. The anti bully campaign motive is to minimize bullying taking place, especially at schools. The hope is to minimize potential dangerous circumstances occurring at schools and elsewhere. Situations that could easily be handled through counseling or therapy.

Let us never forget the lives lost, and the lessons learned from that fateful day.


2 Responses to “Columbine”

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