By Rick Sallinger

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Some students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are in Colorado this week to join forces with Columbine High School students in an effort to end gun violence.

Randi Patregnani narrowly escaped the gunman in Parkland, Florida, Kate is a student at Columbine.

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Together they and the others students who traveled to Colorado are joining together to stop gun violence.

Twelve students and a teacher were murdered at Columbine on April 20, 1999. Seventeen were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland on Valentine’s Day.

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Randi recalls the horror there, “One minute we are all writing Valentine’s cards and the next the fire alarm went off and we’re being shot at.”

She says she was pulled into a classroom, but others couldn’t get to safety. The stories from Parkland and Columbine are frighteningly similar.

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CBS4’s Rick Sallinger asked Randi why she and the others from Parkland wanted to be in Colorado to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shootings.

“We wanted to give condolences and come together to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” she said.

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The mass walkouts in Colorado and elsewhere this year have been called “March For Our Lives.” It is evolving into a campaign called “Vote For Our Lives.”

Kate Modler is a Columbine student who gathered with those from Florida, “For me we need to vote for our safety we need to stand up for what we believe.”

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Their unity is reflected in their T-shirts “We are Columbine, We are Douglas, We are change.”

Randi noted, “We’re both two cities that went through a tragic experience that no one should ever go through.”

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The lessons from those horrors and others has now become a poignant question.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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