I lost all hope and safety in my community, along with many of my dear friends. When someone goes through a horrible experience they remember every little detail throughout their lifetime. For me, it seems like just yesterday that I was in a life or death situation.
APRIL 20, 1999
I was eating my lunch in the cafeteria, I heard gunshots outside. I
never thought those gunshots were meant for me. I never thought in my
wildest dreams that I would be running for my life from a student I
went to school with everyday.
A year later, those haunting experiences are once again resurfacing. Sometimes I dream about being shot at my school, and how my family and friends would deal with my death.
I often think about Lauren Townsend and Rachel Scott, and how their families are coping with all they have experienced. I feel torn from my friend that I went to elementary school with. She lost her brother in the shooting. I feel uncomfortable talking to her sometimes, because I don't want to make her feel sad or depressed.
Everyday, I walk down the hallway with the brand new blue lockers on the wall, knowing that just on the other side is the library that I always went to for studying. I walk into my science classroom remembering that this is the place where one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Sanders, spent the last minutes of his life. Wherever I go, there are always things that remind me of that terrible day on April 20, 1999.
Another thing that has changed in my life is the sound of sirens and helicopters. In April, there were many cop cars and ambulances. You couldn't drive anywhere. I remember seeing students hooked up to IV's with blood stains on their shirts. I remember feeling so depressed because I was okay.
time I hear a helicopter I wonder if something else has happened at
Columbine. Last April, helicopters flew over my house night and day
taking pictures and trying to see all the carnage that was left behind.
When I hear helicopters, I get scared and I wonder if something else
has happened at my school.
FINDING THE POSITIVE
In dealing with my emotions and losses I have found being pro-active has helped me the most. I live everyday to the fullest and have become involved in many different community projects.
I traveled to Washington D.C. to call upon legislators to make more effective gun safety measures, to keep guns out of the wrong hands. I met the president and confronted many House Members on their opposition towards gun safety measures.
I am also a part of a community task force which looks out for the best interests of people in the community. This group had people who made meals for families who where in need, and gave suggestions to the School Board regarding making our schools a safe environment to learn in. The task force also took part in getting things ready for the upcoming anniversary.
I remember going to Chatfield High School and being overwhelmed with all the posters all around the school showing love and support from all over the nation. It was such a great and uplifting feeling. In many classes we wrote letters of thank you notes to ones who gave us their sympathy. It was an overwhelming, joyous feeling.
A COMMUNITY GROWS
I have grown much closer to my friends and tell them everything on my mind. I often wonder why a tragedy like this had to happen at my school. I believe God has a purpose for everything and maybe it was to show and bring out the true me.
I have gone through a terrible experience, but I feel blessed to know that I am still alive and I am able to fulfill my dreams.
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