I live about 10 minutes away from Columbine High School. 24 years ago on April 20, 1999, two individuals killed 13 people and then themselves. The day is sacred here in Colorado and the high school along with a few others do not have school on that day. They instead have a ‘Day of Service’. Next year will be tough as it will be the 25th anniversary but another part of the country already past that milestone.
On April 19, 1995 a truck bomb went off in front of the Federal building in Oklahoma City, OK. 168 were killed and another 680 wounded. They just hit the 28th anniversary this year.
To kick off this week of tragedy we have to start in Boston which had it’s 10th anniversary of Boston Marathon bombing on the 15th. Patriots Day this year had not only the Marathon and the Red Sox game but also the first game of the Boston Bruins playoff series. A full day for sure for the city.
All these terrible events happened over different years but within the same week. All told there were 184 killed (not including the gunmen at Columbine), some 985 wounded and countless scarred for the rest of their lives. What I propose is a National Week of Remembrance where we can copy and extend Columbine’s example and on those individual days, have a ‘Day of Service’ where schools close and volunteer efforts are made. This could range to volunteering for Habitat for Humanity to a march or rally in support of laws or funding that would help prevent another one of these horrific events from happening again.
My thought is that we reconnect to these terrible tragedies and they can, in part, bring us together. Show us that we are united even if only in tragedy. We are connected, we are neighbors, and we are in this together.
Just a thought.
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