It was, in hindsight, the first school massacre of this generation.
Back then, we had no Earthly idea that it would be the first major school shooting of this generation. Back then, on April 20, 1999, the tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo, was shocking. Unfathomable. Impossible to believe was real.
The idea that two students, angry over the direction of their lives and willing and able to cause mass destruction, decided to go on a shooting rampage inside the walls of their school during the school day wasn’t something my generation had ever contemplated.
I remember sitting in my apartment in Wilmington, N.C. that night, watching news coverage of this, and the unspeakable sadness that washed over me. I was only two years removed from academia at that point in my life, and knowing how many unhappy kids I’d known in high school and college, and thinking this could’ve happened at my school? Never would I have believed it.
Of course, we are almost numb to school shootings now. They have happened so often, everywhere: Virginia Tech. Parkland, Fla. Newtown, Conn. Cleveland, Ohio. And so, so many more.
According to this story that I read this weekend, in the 20 years since Columbine more than 187,000 students at 193 schools have witnessed a school shooting. They have caused 375 deaths or injuries.
One hundred and ninety-three schools. That’s as unfathomable as the Columbine shooting was, then.
But that’s the reality. We see a tragedy, we get angry, we vow that things MUST change, and they don’t.
After Columbine, I was so certain that such a destructive, horrible act would force changes in our laws.
They haven’t. But that doesn’t make the memories, and the wounds, of Columbine any less important.
This was the shooting that started it all. And it’s still kind of incredible that it happened.
**Next up today, last week the NFL released its 2019 schedule, and because everything about the NFL these days is over-sized and over-exaggerated, teams make a pretty big deal out of the day.
Lots of them this year made great videos announcing which opponents they’re playing when, but the Carolina Panthers’ announcement blew the rest of them away.
The Charlotte-based franchise used clips from old video games matched up to their 2019 opponents, and from using “Pitfall” to “Halo” to, of course, “Madden Football,” the Panthers have done a perfect job of getting fans ready for this season.
Seriously, I LOVED this. Bravo, Panthers.
**And finally today, it’s been three years since of the greatest musicians of all time died of an accidental drug overdose, so it’s as good a time as any to enjoy a little Prince.
Of all his amazing performances, if I had to pick only one to share, it’s gotta be his Super Bowl halftime show in 2007.
What a transcendent talent. Such a shame we’ll never get to hear new music from him again.