I don't know if you have read this but I decided to put it up.
This link has Patti Neilson Valeen, and Beth Nimmo.
My life, and the lives of thousands of others, had changed on April 20, 1999. I had just gone to the library that morning. As was custom that semester, I met five other girls from English class there. Sometimes we worked on studies; other times we just talked.
I sat down to read a new book for peer counseling, while my friends sat nearby working on an English project. Then suddenly, a teacher came running into the library. Everyone get down! she screamed. Theres a kid with a gun!
At first my friends and I thought it must be a senior prank. Then, from the floor beneath us, we heard the sound of screaming and gunfire. The floor shook as bombs went off below our feet.
My friends and I dove beneath a table. I was closest to Lauren. In fear, we grasped hands, clutching each other tightly. I began to pray silently, begging God to help us.
Its gonna be okay, Lauren said over and over as we clung to each other.
Then we heard the gunmen who we later learned were two boys from our own school enter the library. They laughed as they shot students at random. I cried and hid my face behind the thick beam that went across the underside of the table. I continued to pray desperately.
Then I felt searing pain as gunfire hit me. The force of it knocked me out from under the table.
God help me! I screamed, and then looked up, directly at the gunmen.
Do you believe in God? one of them demanded.
At first I was terrified to say yes, but then knew I couldnt lie.
Yes, I said.
Why? they asked, taunting.
I mumbled, now in a daze from my wounds, Its what my parents have taught me. Its what I believe.
Then I hid under the table again, weak from blood loss and hoping they would leave me alone.
Miraculously, they turned away and eventually left the library.
Lauren! I said, nudging my friend who still lay beneath the table. We can go now. Theyre gone!
But Lauren didnt move.
Wake up! I tried again. Theyre gone.
There was no response.
Maybe shes passed out, I thought. Then, peaking over Lauren, I saw students running out an emergency exit.
I was completely covered in blood, and knew that I had been hurt badly. Bunching up the bottom of my shirt, I pressed it against my stomach, trying to stop the bleeding. I had to get out of there!
Hoping that someone could come back for Lauren, I mustered all my strength and ran out the door. I made it to a police car parked away from the building. A policeman and students were hiding behind the automobile, and I made it to the grass behind it and collapsed.
Another student, a junior, noticed me there. Though wounded himself, he grabbed a sweatshirt and came over to me.
Hi, he said. Youre a senior, arent you? Where are you going to school next year?
I tried to talk to him, but I cringed when he pushed the sweatshirt against my bleeding abdomen. At that moment, I hated him, not realizing that he was working to help save my life.
Dont you go to sleep! the boy commanded.
Finally, I was taken to the hospital, where doctors prodded and poked at me. I was so scared, and wanted my parents, Mark and Shari Schnurr. Finally, they arrived. The doctors told them that I had nine shotgun wounds and numerous shrapnel injuries. They were amazed I was alive. Divine intervention, they said, must have saved my life.
The pain and the horrible shock of what I had been through was hard to deal with. But my parents did a good job of comforting me. They protected me from additional horror by keeping all newspapers away and the TV off.
Famous people came to talk to me. Flowers and cards of support poured in from all over the world. It was touching to see how much people cared. But even more comforting was seeing my family, my two younger sisters, and my good friends the people who truly care for me.
I slowly began to heal, struggling to keep my faith and deal with the physical injuries. Then, three days after the shooting, I asked my mom and a friend, Hows Lauren?
They were silent. I could see the answer in their faces, and I started crying. Lauren, smart and high-spirited Lauren, had died in the library.
So much had been lost that day at Columbine. Lauren and twelve other innocent people lost their lives before the two killers shot themselves in the school.
I spent a week in the hospital as I recovered from surgery, but the mental wounds ran much deeper. Questions continually raced through my mind. Why did they do it? Why did innocent people die? Why did Lauren die while I lived?
Now, as I sat at graduation, watching Laurens family receive the diploma their daughter had earned, I knew there were no answers to these questions. Two of the other girls who were with me in the library that day also were wounded, and I watched them receive their diplomas -- and begin a new part of their lives.
Eventually it was my turn to receive that hard-earned piece of paper. As my name was called and I took my diploma, I was surprised by the sound of clapping. Looking out, I saw the entire audience standing, sharing my joy of achievement, recovery, and a second chance at life.
I know I lost a lot that day at Columbine, but that was only one day. There are so many other precious memories of high school. Even though it was difficult, Ill always be thankful that I was well enough to attend the last three days of school my senior year. It was my way of taking back what had stolen from me my good memories of a great time in life.
This link has Patti Neilson Valeen, and Beth Nimmo.
My two cents,