Colorado has become fairly infamous for school shootings. It was the home of perhaps the most infamous school shooting in America: Columbine High School. My high school was right down the road from Columbine, and while I am far too young to remember that shooting, I was unfortunate to experience one of my own. On Dec. 13 a student entered with a shotgun intent on killing the librarian. Long story short, he took his own life shortly after mortally wounding one girl and setting fire to the library. The details of the shooting are readily available online.
What is most important about the event however, for me, and for my community, is what happened after the shooting. People always say tragedy brings people together, but I have never seen the truth of that more than in the weeks following the shooting. I am still friends with nearly my entire senior class. The support of the community for our school, and its students was incredible. Watching the way this tragedy transformed a community into a loving network of friends and family was as amazing as the event that caused it was tragic.
I cannot speak to what any one person goes through when they experience something like a school shooting. Yet, I can speak to what I hope happens after. I hope that communities can come together and support each other and those affected. My school’s motto was always “Warriors always take care of one another,” and that was never more true for our school than after our tragedy and I can only pray that it will be the same for those affected by similar events. Being a part of that network of people coming together to support and love one another was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. If you can, try to be part of that network of love any way you can. You would be amazed how much of a difference it can make in the lives of those grieving friends and family.