Monday, April 20, 2009

10 years later

i can't believe it's been 10 years since the shootings at columbine. 10 years since i was at my work gym watching it all unfold on tv's with my girfriend and co-worker meg. 10 years since we were wondering why the hell all the kids were coming out of that school with their shirts off. 10 years since we learned that their shirts were off because they were trying to stop their teacher, dave sanders, from dying.

columbine wrecked me.

i knew no one from the school. no one from the area. but that entire scene horrified me in ways that i still can't comprehend. it made me feel things i had no business feeling.

i was completely consumed. i couldn't stop reading about it. watching it on the television. researching it online. i wanted to know about all the victims. everyone left behind- littleton's tragedy became my own. their grief, was mine. i cried with them. cried for them. but mostly, i just cried.

i get like that sometimes. feel things so deeply and with so much intensity. sometimes i think i'm not normal. i don't get like this with everything. not every single school shooting affects me the same way. not every single tragedy rips me to the core. but some do.

and columbine did. it always has. even now, 10 years later, talks of it stops me in my tracks. i hope everyone has found some sort of peace in these past 10 years (gosh, has it really been ten years?). some sort of happiness, hope and love. and to those who were lost that day... i will never forget you.

columbine april 20, 1999.  always remember those we lost and loved



Peggy said...

Nice tribute Jen. That truly was a horrific American tragedy that changed our lives forever. I still hold a lot of anger toward those two little f*$#s...I cannot forgive them or their families.

Recently I read Wally Lamb's "The Hour I First Believed" which portrayed just how truly deeply people's lives were changed forever. Great read!

Jill said...

You put it very well and thanks for the reminder as well.

I am that way about the OLK City Bombing. My SAR dog and I were there within 24 hours and were there 2 weeks. I still cannot come to grips with the utter horror of the body parts and lives lost. Most of the dogs (there reward is finding a live person) came back so depressed they had to be retired.

I want so desperately to write about my feelings and the horror and the first act of terroism but when I sit down to do it the tears come back and I can't sleep and I just cannot yet write about it even today. I just can't.I know exactly how you feel Jenn, believe me!

j.sterling said...

peggy.. you know, i don't hate their families. i really think their parents were truly in the dark on this one. it was pretty much proven that the boys acted one way at home and obviously, a complete other with eachother. they knew exactly what they were doing. they knew their parents were going to be utterly shocked and horrified that they were a part of this. i think they were somewhat blindsided and i honestly feel for them because what they have to live through, in my opinion, is much worse. not only did they lose a child, but their child is responsible for so much heartache and devastation. how do you ever get over, or forgive yourself for that?

Ericka said...

i was reading something today about how much police responsiveness has changed as a direct result of columbine. now, instead of having to hang around a perimeter waiting for the swat team, responding officers are actually being trained to go hunting for 'active gunmen.' also, swat teams now have members who go in specifically as armed rescue workers to bring out injured. *sigh* if only we could learn to be proactive, instead of reactive...

j.sterling said...