There is a famous quote by George Santayana, who, in his writing called “Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1”, wrote
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
This lesson is one of the reasons why we must continue to honor the anniversary of tragedies. Recently, on April 12th, Jews from around the world honored Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Rememberance Day. This quote is used often to recall the Holocaust and try to help ensure that an event like that doesn’t happen again.
Today, on April 20th, eerily close to Holocaust Rememberance Day, we honor those 15 children and adults who lost their lives at the tragic Columbine High School Shooting in Littleton, Colorado 11 years ago.
We should remember this day, because in many ways it has been the catalyst to the increased focus on the issues of bullying at schools. While many things have changed in the 11 years since two boys went in to the school with weapons, there is still much to be done. Yes, there is still a debate about how much bullying played into what happened in Columbine. But many of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s writings indicated that they were ostracized and bullied at school. But, their actions will never justify that.
What we should focus on is helping adults and school administrators to notice indications of problems and try to help stop them before they escalate. I am happy to say that I do believe we have focused more on training adults and schools to work on these issues in the past 11 years.
But for today, please take a moment to remember what happened in Columbine and tell the story again, so we never forget these lives and the lessons learned.