We're moving soon to an apartment near Clement Park in Littleton. Ballfields, cookouts, concerts, bike trails - the park is bounded by Johnson Reservoir to the west, and to the east by Columbine High School – home of the Rebels. When I first drove through Littleton a few months ago, I passed through Columbine and remembered the shootings at the high school thirteen years ago. I remembered it only vaguely, the details escaped me.
Last week, I was walking around the reservoir and through the park and I passed a sign, Columbine Memorial with an arrow pointing across the lawn toward a hill. The memorial is set in Rebel Hill, hidden from view and shielded from the noise of the surrounding park. It's a quiet, peaceful spot, but not empty. There were little kids, students and families walking around, reading the plaques. A visiting high school baseball team was there, just after finishing their game. Some of them at the fountain, some walking up to the top of Rebel Hill with its look-out over the memorial, the park and the high school fields.
|Columbines - Colorado state flower, namesake of the town and high school|
This is a photoblog and the pictures are supposed to carry the story. But the Columbine Memorial is about words. A circle in the center is dedicated to the thirteen victims - 12 students and one teacher - who were killed that day. A memorial to each, some of the words hopeful and some bitter, surrounds a marble ribbon on the ground “Never Forgotten”. Ringing the memorial are the words of the people who survived. Students, teachers, parents and people from the town, the community.
I remember seeing the news coverage of the shooting years ago, and wanting just to get home and hug my kids. And after stumbling onto the memorial that afternoon, I came out with the same feeling. I hadn't forgotten, not really. Neither had the town.
|Sunset over the Rockie's Front Range - looking west from Rebel Hill|