A Tribute to Chardon High School
Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself. ~ Walter Anderson
If they were able to reach forward in time and tell us what they wanted to say today, I believe they would tell us to live each day to its fullest; to treasure each day we are given since each day is a beautiful gift.
Demitrius, Russell, Daniel, Joy, Nate, and Nicholas – all were affected that day in fatal or other permanent ways, and yet today, a year later, their lasting impact lives on with us. I think about these precious lives that were so abruptly cut short, and I know that everyone of us will live our entire lives remembering them. Those moments, hours, and days that followed were filled with worry, sadness, relief, and devastation. Waves of emotions flowed out of us, around us, and into our hearts. Even today as I write this, I am solemnly reminded that we should live every moment from our heart as if it is our last.
When we are first struck with a tragedy, we often descend into different modes of shock. Many around us in our community went into work mode. Serving those affected by this tragedy seemed like the most natural thing to do. In the midst of all that blazing red, one heartbeat started, and the brilliant gold of this town’s heart started to shine through. From all around the world, all around the country, and all around our hometown, everyone showed an amazing outpouring of love and support.
Even after a year has passed, the outpouring of love from the community continues to be strong. Today’s events will reflect and honor the lives of those we’ve lost and will offer hope and healing to those who have been affected by this tragedy.
Their lives have forever changed.
Although they are lost, they will never be forgotten.
We are one heartbeat, one family, standing strong together.
We will always remember….