Today is Easter, a day of hope, a day of renewal, a day of peace and joy. There are many different traditions on this day: going to church for a service (whichever church you may attend, if it’s Christian in any way, there’s likely to be an Easter service), family meals with extended family, gifts and (the favorite of many children) Easter egg hunts and baskets of candy.
Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox and so it is one of those few moving holidays. There are other holidays that surround it, are a part of it or are related to it in some way (Lent, Eastertide, Holy Week, Passover, etc.). There are different days where Easter falls that mean different things to some people. One year, my sister’s birthday was on Easter.
This year, something similar has happened. Easter is on the 15th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School. If ever there was a day for hope and the escape from the tomb, it is today.
There is hope for those who both die and survive shootings. There is hope int he resurrection of Christ, but there is also hope to find healing. Survivors of Columbine reach out to help others who have suffered from similar traumas in their lives. For example, two former students at Columbine have reached out to their classmates and started a community group that has extended far beyond just those within their former school or even within their state of Colorado. I would write and try to describe the organization that they have started, the Rebels Project, but I would just be repeating what another has already written. I came across Jon Schuppe’s article on the Rebels Project and it gave me hope.
His article can be found here: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/columbine-15-years-later/lost-class-found-columbine-survivors-discover-new-purpose-n83436
There are five other articles as well and I hope that you, whoever the you reading this is, read them all.
I have never heard gunshots go off in my school halls, but that is because the student who was going to do so was identified and the weapon removed from his care before anything could happen. I never had to fear another bringing a gun into my school because I was near an outdoor store being held at gunpoint across the street because my school had lock-down procedures that were put into effect as soon as possible and the police were able to arrest the individual in question. I never had to feel what it was like to be in a building when a bomb went off because my high school was evacuated before the threatening call was even completed.
Not everyone has been as fortunate as I and my classmates have been. The news may not be filled with only stories of when things went wrong, but there are enough that have made me pause whenever there is any hint of it.
I have received a phone call that my sister’s children’s school was in lock-down because there was a man who’d threatened to bring his weapon to a school nearby. I have received another phone call that the elementary and middle schools near my house were in lock-down as well because an armed robbery had occurred on the same street and they were taking precautions. Nothing happened and none of the students had to be sent home either of these times, but it is because of dangers in the past and people sitting up and listening that these procedures are even in place.
I was in the 5th grade when Columbine happened. My second eldest sister was a senior in her high school, Class of 1999. It is her children who I have received phone calls regarding lock-downs. I shudder to think of a world where she died from a school shooting and her children never came to be.
It is Easter Sunday and it is a day of hope. I am more grateful than I can ever express for the hope that I have received just by knowing how preciously people are guarding their children and working to help those who have needed to survive anything.
God bless you.
Last night I was privileged to watch NBC’s Dateline–one of the Columbine survivors is making a film to document the ongoing healing, since the shootings; and he traveled across the country to other schools which have suffered the same trauma of mass shootings. It was inspiring, very moving to listen to these young people tell their stories–and reach out to others to offer help. The film project is called “Wounded Minds”.
Wow! I can’t wait for it to come out!
I’m thinking you could probably check the “Dateline” archives and see that program online–but I’m just guessing. If I hear more, I’ll try to let you know.