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Columbine High School 20th anniversary commemoration of 1999 school shooting
Image: Reuters/R. Wilking

Columbine marks school shooting anniversary

April 21, 2019

Two teenagers killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. The attack lingers in the popular imagination as the first in a string of modern-day school shootings in the United States.


Columbine scars 20 years on

Community members in Columbine near Denver attended a remembrance ceremony on Saturday to mark 20 years since the Columbine High School shooting.

The April 20, 1999 massacre of a teacher and 12 students shocked the world, marking the start of an era of school shootings in the United States and a fierce national debate about gun control that continues two decades later.

Survivors gave speeches at the ceremony, which also featured the presentation of a 17th-century Japanese tea bowl by Makoto Fujimura. The artist repaired the broken bowl by mending it together with gold.

Read more: 'March for Our Lives': Rallies around the world call for stricter US gun control

"Being Columbine survivors, we found the strength and the courage to continue forging our path in life, but it didn't come without struggles," said survivor Mandy Cooke. "I do know that many of us continue to struggle because of that awful day."

Earlier in the day, visitors placed flowers at a memorial near the high school that features plaques dedicated to the victims.

Shooters' admirer stokes fears

The two Columbine shooters have inspired a small cult-like following since the attack.

Columbine was on heightened alert earlier in the week after police said they were searching for an 18-year-old woman who was "infatuated" with the 1999 shooting and had bought a gun in Denver.

Read more: Can a group of Florida high school students change America's cycle of gun violence?

The news forced 400,000 children to stay home on Wednesday after local schools locked their doors.

Police later found the woman's body west of Denver in what appeared to be a suicide.

amp/kl (AP, AFP, dpa)

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