Columbine High School Shooting

On April 20, 1999 Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17 entered Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. They shot and killed 13 people and wounded more than 20 others before killing themselves.


Historycom: Columbine High School Shooting

Wikipedia: Columbine_High_School_Massacre

In 1999 I was living in Vermont, but having grown up in Colorado I still had many friends in and around Denver. The term “horrific” comes to mind. The news was almost unbelievable…how could someone do this?

At that time, the incident seemed like a random, horrible act of two disturbed or deranged individuals.

I had no idea that the massacre would set the stage for so many more to follow.


What memories do you have of this event? How close were you to the people involved? How did it affect you and the people in your life?


Mass Shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs

On November 27, 2015 a mass shooter killed three people and wounded nine others in an attack at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colorado. One of the victims was Officer Garrett Swasey, a UCCS police officer responding in support of the Colorado Springs police.


Wikipedia. Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Shooting

The Gazette. Death of UCCS police officer in Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting confirmed.

In November 2015, we were in the throes of preparing to move to Colorado, which happened a few months later. I had already been accepted to UCCS and was planning to begin the following fall semester. How do we react to mass shootings now? They are no longer rare incidents. Shock, sadness, but I can’t claim disbelief. I know there are people who hate Planned Parenthood, just as there are people who hate Christians, or women, or anyone who isn’t hetero-normative. Hate exists.

I quickly heard from my friends in The Springs (I already had many old friends there even though we hadn’t moved there yet) and no one I knew personally was involved. Still, it shook the community. It brought up the usual angry debates over how, why, and what should be done.

From a distance, I was aware of the loss this was to UCCS, where I would soon be a student. The outpouring of grief was strong and widespread. But I wasn’t there yet… this was not yet my community. It was not my place to mourn; it was my place to be saddened and horrified, and to watch from a distance as the community put itself together again.


What memories do you have of this event? How did it affect you and the people in your life?

The Waldo Canyon Fire

In early summer 2012, a brush fire broke out in Waldo Canyon, west of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The fire grew, scorching thousands of acres and destroying hundreds of homes.


9 News Website. It’s Been Five Years Since the Waldo Canyon Fire

Wikipedia. Waldo Canyon Fire

Although I still lived back east at the time of the fire, I had many friends who lived through it, watching the smoke come closer and wondering whether or not they would have to evacuate. You can still see the scars, huge swaths of mountainside with the skeletons of trees, and underbrush that is just now coming back.


What memories do you have of this event? How did you and the people in your life feel about it?