My name is Kaylee Tyner and I’m a senior at Columbine High School. My classmates and I have grown up with the trauma of what happened at my school 20 years ago on April 20, 1999. Just yesterday, my school was threatened. Columbine High School was among 20 local schools that went into lockdown after a suspect made threats of gun violence.
For many reasons, we will never forget that day 20 years ago. It was the deadliest school shooting at the time. It marked the start of a new generation of American students — one for whom lockdowns, shelter in place orders, and active shooter drills are the new normal. Generation “Columbine.” We have grown up watching these tragedies occur time and time again.
After that day in April, people all over the world showed the Columbine community an outpouring of love and kindness — leaving our community stronger and more resilient than ever. In the wake of a tragedy, that support means everything. That’s why on the anniversary of this tragedy, I’m choosing to honor the victims and survivors of gun violence with acts of service.
I’ve dedicated myself to helping prevent gun violence. I’m a leader of Team ENOUGH, Brady’s youth-led initiative, and I also recently launched a campaign with fellow Columbine students, called #MyLastShot. But, anyone from anywhere is able to participate in community service as a form of healing from the aftermath of gun violence.
Although the anniversary is a difficult time for my community every year, the Day of Service gives community members a feeling of purpose as they dedicate themselves to acts of service in honor of the 13. I encourage you to join the official Columbine Day of Service and act in whatever way you can.
Any service project, no matter how big or small, is a recommitment changing the culture of our country from fear and violence to love and kindness.