Home » Columbine victims remembered at 25th anniversary vigil

Columbine victims remembered at 25th anniversary vigil

by John Jefferson
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The 12 students and one teacher killed in the Columbine High School shooting were remembered on Friday night in a vigil on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the tragedy.

The gathering in Denver, set up by gun safety and other organisations, was the public event marking the anniversary.

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who began campaigning for gun safety after she was nearly killed in a mass shooting, was among those speaking at the vigil.

So was Nathan Hochhalter, whose sister Anne Marie was paralysed after she was shot at Columbine. Several months after the shooting, their mother, Carla Hochhalter, took her own life.

The organizers of the vigil, which will also honour all those impacted by the shooting, include Colorado Ceasefire, Brady United Against Gun Violence and Colorado Faith Communities United Against Gun Violence, but they say it will not be a political event.

Columbine High School shooting survivor Anne Marie Hochhalter reacts during a vigil remembering the 25th anniversary of the mass shooting, Friday, April 19, 2024, in Denver (AP)

Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel, a sophomore who excelled in math and science, was killed at Columbine, decided to set up the vigil after learning school officials did not plan to organize a large community event as they did on the 20th anniversary.

Columbine teacher Kiki Leyba, left, and former principal Frank DeAngelis embrace during a vigil remembering the 25th anniversary of the Columbine High School mass shooting, Friday, April 19, 2024, in Denver. (AP)

Mr Mauser, who became a gun safety advocate after the shooting, said he realizes that it takes a lot of volunteers and money to put together that kind of event but he wanted to give people a chance to gather and mark the passage of 25 years since the shooting, a significant number people can relate to.

Tim Hernandez hugs Kallie Leyba as former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, second from right, hugs Anne Marie Hochhalter, right during a vigil remembering the 25th anniversary of the Columbine High School mass (AP)

“For those who do want to reflect on it, it is something for them,” said Mauser, who is on Colorado Ceasefire’s board and asked the group to help organize the event at a church near the state Capitol in Denver.

Sue Townsend hugs Tom Mauser during a vigil remembering the 25th anniversary of the Columbine High School mass shooting, Friday, April 19, 2024, in Denver (AP)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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