Today’s Ride to Church is not actually a ride to church; rather, it’s a ride to the Columbine High School shooting memorial, brought to us by Stephanie Siggard Stevens, who drives by the memorial on her way to church every week. Stephanie writes:
On April 20, 1999, I was a fourth year medical student on my neurology rotation at the county hospital in Denver, Colorado as shots rang out at Columbine High School. Almost at once, pagers of attending physicians, residents and medical students started to ring and we were all told that the disaster plan was being implemented. I was assigned to the ER and was told we may get 20 or more patients. We took our places….and waited. We ended up getting several patients, and I helped the teams stabilize a few of the shooting victims before they were taken to surgery. We returned to our places each time….and waited. As the news rolled in about the number of people who died at the high school that day, we became discouraged that the news was not of more survivors that we could save.
Soon after that day, we moved to Littleton and now live down the street from Columbine. We attend a ward that was deeply impacted by the tragedy. We have heard the stories of those who were in the library or the cafeteria that day, and we have learned of some of the pain that the parents of those students felt.
This week, these feelings were all brought anew again for me. I was waiting for my son to return from the midnight premiere of the new Batman movie when the news started to roll in about the theater shooting and mass casualties in Aurora. I was so relieved that he was at a different theater, but had little twinges of the pain those parents must have felt to not know about the safety of their children.
Every week when I pass Columbine HS on my way to church, I think of the television images I saw that fateful day. For me, Clement Park is usually where I lace up my running shoes and pound out a few miles. But occasionally, I visit the memorial to the victims of the Columbine tragedy and quietly cry for those lives that were lost that day. That is my time to reflect on my life, my opportunities, and my responsibilities. It is my time to recommit to a life of doing good and of being good.