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Columbine High victims remembered

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Parents and classmates were among the hundreds of people who attended a memorial service on Friday in Littleton, Colorado  

'School community coming together to heal'

LITTLETON, Colorado (CNN) -- Families and friends of Columbine High School victims gathered to remember and look ahead in an outdoor ceremony Friday on the second anniversary of the worst school shooting in U.S. history.

"Two years ago, our lives changed forever," said student body president Maundy Bowen. "We will never forget the lives we lost that day. We will always remember their spirit."

Twelve students and a teacher were killed on April 20, 1999, by students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, who ended the rampage by killing themselves. Another 23 students were wounded.

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At a park near the school, a somber ceremony was held

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CNN's Jason Bellini has more on Columbine High School two years after the shootings

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The ceremony came one day after an attorney said the families of those killed or wounded reached a nearly $1.6 million settlement with the parents of the gunmen.

School Superintendent Jane Hammond was another of the speakers in the brief ceremony. "In this time of remembrance, we have much to be proud of," she said. "A school community coming together to heal, to recover, while never forgetting what has happened here."

She asked the those gathered to remember the day not only as one of loss, but also "one of giving back. A day of uniting and sharing."

The Rev. Dave Peters of Genesis Presbyterian Church slowly read the names of the slain students and teacher.

In remembering the victims, he said, "We also call to mind those around us who will always be grieving the loss of loved ones and friends. We recognize the many who struggle with enduring feelings of the loss of personal safety and of well-being, and wonder if we're ever going to get that back again."

He joined Hammond in urging people to look ahead.

"May we never deny that we need and we benefit from one another's support and prayer," he said. "Today is a day to reclaim our yearning to move on, to take steps forward. ... Let us continue the good work of so many whose words and deeds are producing in our very midst hope and healing, peace and a welcome for all."

Six-foot-tall crosses stood for each of the 13 victims in a parking lot near the service.

"It's just a time to remember," Chris Bern all told The Associated Press, pausing at a cross bearing the name of his sister, Cassia. "I've moved on. I've had a sense of peace about it, knowing where Cassia is. She's up in heaven."



RELATED STORIES:
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Affidavit to search Columbine shooter's home to be released
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Affidavit: Columbine shooter posted threat on Web
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RELATED SITES:
Jefferson County, Colorado, Public Schools
  • Profile: Columbine High School
Columbine High School Tributes
National School Safety Center

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