Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado. Hard to believe is has already been ten years since that event that changed so many things. Many who are more literary than I have already paid tribute to those who died and survived there. I'll settle for a quick thought on the day.
Barely a week or two go by that I don't think about Columbine. I wasn't involved and don't know anyone who was, but it still impacted me. I remember exactly where I was when I first learned of the tragedy.
I was sitting in an Applebee's with about five or six academy classmates. We were celebrating the survival of an exam and were in good spirits. With six months experience I was perhaps the most seasoned cop in the group and that isn't saying much. As we laughed and joked someone suddenly said, "Hey, what's that?" Looking up to the TV mounted near the ceiling we saw swat officers moving cautiously behind a firetruck. The crawl across the bottom announced that the footage was live from Littleton. We embryonic coppers were transfixed by any swat team anywhere and continued to watch. The story unfolded over the course of dinner and we caught the full impact by the time we finished. Sobered, we sat there trying to absorb what this meant. One of the other members of the group summed it all up as we left, "It's now a different game than we signed up to play when we started."