LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – A remembrance ceremony Saturday afternoon honored the 13 lives lost and those who survived the Columbine High School shooting 20 years ago exactly. The ceremony was held at Clermont Park next to Columbine High School.
Hundreds of families and friends gathered, some with heavy hearts, to celebrate the strength of the community.
“I was in 8th grade at Ken Carl back when it happened. And my sister was in the school. And so we just feel part of the community. And it’s obviously something terrible that happened, but I really feel like we’ve made the best of it,” one man said.
“To my Columbine family, all of you, I love you. I appreciate all your support over the years because it’s because of you that I’m up here today,” said Sean Graves, a survivor.
Saturday’s ceremony lasted more than two hours, as grieving survivors reflected on their healing.
“We never stopped grieving because we never stopped loving” said Will Beck, who was a 15-year-old sophomore at Columbine in 1999.
Beck drove to the Littleton gathering from where he now lives in Utah.
Twenty years have passed since two teens killed twelve of his peers. His visit to his hometown allowed him to reconnect with classmates who lived the same horror and with a teacher who helped them escape.
“I… gave him a hug and just said ‘I love you. Thank you for saving me,'” Beck said of the embrace.
Now he is honoring the victims through his life as a father to three children.
“I want them to be able to remember those kids forever and pass that down and pass that down, so that they really are never forgotten,” Beck said.