Columbine High School students give back in honor of the lives lost 25 years ago

LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — Columbine High School students and community members came together on Saturday to serve, as a way to honor the 13 lives lost on April 20, 1999.

It’s been 25 years since the tragedy at Columbine High School. Saturday also serves as the school district’s annual day of service, a way to give back while remembering what happened.

Governor’s Ranch Elementary

An act of kindness sparks another is the motto at Governor’s Ranch Elementary, one of the locations part of the service day.

Students, like Columbine High School senior Katelyn Barnes, repainted part of the halls.

Columbine 25 years later: We remember the 13 lives lost

‘With our past with Columbine, [we’re] coming together and showing that we are stronger than what happened and just giving back to the world because everyone needs a little kindness,” she said.

The majority of the students at Governor’s Ranch for the service day are on the soccer team. The team’s coach and Columbine alumni Brian Todd said he is proud to have his team part of the day.

“We’ve really flipped the script on April 20, 1999, and turned it into a day of positivity and so many in the community came and helped us get through a really dark time,” Todd said.

Alumni who lived through the tragedy and current students who didn’t were alongside one another.

Alumni, like Meg, remember the day so clearly.

Columbine victim’s sneakers forge a path for his father 25 years later

“I remember sitting here in 5th grade and all of my friends were sitting here worried about their siblings and family members that were there,” she said.

Meg was at Governor’s Ranch and participated in the service with her kids.

“It does feel very full circle to have my kids here and lived my life through this community,” she said.

The goal behind this district-wide service, and to turn tragedy into hope.

“This community in particular is unlike any other and to be a part of it is a privilege and an honor,” Meg said, “to teach these younger generations that this day should never be forgotten and you can do something good with it instead of forget it.”

Humane Society of the South Platte Valley

Columbine High School Juniors, Peyton Roark and Benjamin Hoeft, spent the day at the Humane Society of the South Platte Valley.

“A big part of this day is giving back to the community,” Roark said. “I feel like even though it is a really big day of loss and sadness, it’s about taking that and turning it into something positive and helping others.”

A little further north, members of the Columbine High School baseball team stepped up to the plate. Elias Frainier and his teammates worked with Habitat for Humanity, helping to transform a property in Denver into affordable home ownership. The unit will soon be 11 single-family homes.

“The first four units we took some time to sweep it out, clean it. There was a lot of sawdust and nails on the floor,” Frainier said. “Now we’re just cutting some drywall and putting it up.”

The team spent the day together, giving back and keeping the memories alive of those who came before them.

“A lot of the teachers were students or even teachers when it happened, and they had this traumatic experience and decided to come back and still teach there and share their stories with current students and it just means a lot,” Frainier said.

Twenty-five years later, Frainier said those 13 lives are never forgotten.

“I think regardless of if we were alive or not, you can definitely feel all the emotion when the year comes around, but it’s really nice to get out and do something special with the day,” Frainier said.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to FOX31 Denver.