Columbine book sheds light on those involved in the tragic event that shaped history

Columbine book sheds light on those involved in the tragic event that shaped history
Columbine book

April 20, 1999. One of the most devastating days in history. Bombs were set, guns were shot, and people were killed. Families lives were completely turned upside down within a matter of 48 minutes. This day in history is the day we refer to as “Columbine.”

“We are COL-um-BINE, We are COL-um-BINE!” A chant so familiar and uplifting, yet so chilling when reading Dave Cullen’s book. Cullen’s book provides so much insight as to what happened on the day of the massacre and the years to come. His book captures all the emotion, sadness, fear, hurt and pain. He provides insight as to what the government was hiding and how the media was portraying Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold– “The killers”. Cullen also puts a halt to all the myths, rumors and questionable statements.

Mr. D, the principal, is giving an unusual speech on the Friday before prom to the student body about how much he loves each and every one of them and wants to see all their bright faces Monday morning, stressing that he did not want the students drinking and driving. He ended the speech saying he did not want to go to another memorial service. Irony was at its finest when he said this, unknowingly he would be attending many memorial services in the very near future. However, every single student returned on Monday from prom safely, unfortunately, 3 days later, a massive tragedy unfolded in the halls of Columbine High School.

Fear and mayhem overran the streets of Jefferson County. There were parents everywhere trying to find their child alive and safe, or for 15 families, dead and abandoned. Children were running out of every exit of the building not knowing the whereabouts of the killers or if there were two killers or ten. All the kids thought they were in the safest place ever but ironically on this day it became one of the most dangerous. Students and faculty had to get out of that building or risk being found by the killers.

In this nonfiction story, “Columbine” gives the reader so much more to view than just the massacre itself. The author shows how the victims lives were before the incident, and how their lives were dramatically changed after that tragic day. Many people focus on the day itself, when so much more occurred in the aftermath, giving the families and victims hardships and many things to overcome.

Patrick Ireland is a good example. He was your average kid. He was smart, but not a genius. Before he was shot he gave himself a goal of graduating as class valedictorian. His parents were kind of iffy on the goal but they fully supported him. During the massacre, Ireland was shot and the entire left side of his body went numb. With his good right side, he crawled to a window and knew it was his only means of getting out. He pulled himself onto the window sill to stand up and kicked his right leg up and threw himself head first out of a window. Officials caught him and rushed him to a hospital. He spent years in rehab trying to rebuild his muscles and be able to do things with his left side. He unfortunately, was never able to walk again. But, he didn’t give up on his goal. He continued to work hard, but was the stress of rehab and having to re-learn a lot of skills became too much for Ireland to reach his high valedictorian goal? I’ll never tell check it out in the book.

This story also shows the thought process of the killers. Dylan wanted love. Perhaps if he had received it, he would have never gone through with the plan with Eric. However, Cullen shows Eric as a psychopath being all about hatred. There was no other path for him unless he was going to jail or a psych ward.

“Columbine” by Dave Cullen is more than just a book about a massacre. This puts you in every characters shoes. It makes you wonder about who your friends are and who you sit next to in class. This book makes you think differently and a bit deeper into the things people say and do. “Columbine” is definitely a must read!