LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – Sunday marks 15 years since 12 students and a teacher were killed in a mass shooting at Columbine High School.
On Saturday friends and family gathered at the Columbine Memorial to honor the lives lost. After 15 years reflection is routine. Coni Sanders is the daughter of one of the victims and she wishes taking the stage wasn’t part of hers.
“Hate overwhelmed two boys enough to take people from our lives and now this is what we do around Easter,” said Sanders.
Sanders and dozens of others wiped away fresh tears.
“I know my dad is with me every day, coaching me silently like he did the kids at Columbine,” said Sanders.
Folks gathered to find comfort after losing their loved ones in the shootings.
“We are part of an unwanted family. None of us asked to be part of this family, family of survivors of mass tragedy,” said Sanders.
Unfortunately, that family is growing. Tom Sullivan lost his son in the Aurora theater shootings.
“Thank you for the courage you have all had since that day. It has certainly strengthened me in my private moments,” said Sullivan.
Sandy Phillips lost her daughter.
“Their lives meant something. Not just to their families, but to the communities that they lived in,” said Phillips.
Now two families came together and made the pilgrimage up the hill to the Columbine Memorial leaving flowers in memory of the students killed and the grieving families.
“We support each other, love each other, we help each other through. But at the same time, none of us wanted to be here today because this wasn’t supposed to happen,” said Sanders.
Sanders says the memorial serves as a symbol of peace in the community.
Another part of her healing process is helping people who have a history of committing violent crimes.