Memorial Idea

Back at the end of August of 1999, I sent a letter to Mr. Bob Easton, the Executive Director of Foothills Parks District. It described my idea for the Columbine Permanent Memorial. Below is a copy of that letter, and the next page, entitled The Circle of Angels is a visual aid to show you where the Angels might be placed. It doesnít do my idea justice, but it gives you an image of what the memorial is supposed to look like.

Mr. Bob Easton

Executive Director Foothills Parks District

Dear Mr. Easton,

I have been following the Columbine shootings since April 20th through news stories from the Denver Post. One story ran by the Post on June 7th reported about how memorial ideas have been pouring in from around the country and the world. I would like to submit my idea for the Columbine Permanent Memorial.

The design is rather simple, but it is full of symbolism to honor those who died. I read about the debate to make the memorial for the 13 innocent lives or for the full 15 lives that died that terrible day. This memorial can be adjusted to incorporate all 15 in symbolism, or it can be solely for the innocent 13. Basically, the memorial design is a circle of 12 angles facing inward, at a 13th angel on a rotating pedestal in the center of the circle.

The memorial would be a 13-foot light brown marble circle with a 13-inch border. The width of the circle and border can be adjusted to 15 feet if you and the committee choose to include Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold in this memorial in any way shape or form. In the border, the names of the 23 wounded students and teachers would be etched. At every 30 degrees of the circle arc would be a 13-inch high trapezoid marble base. On each base would stand the 12 Angels, four female angels and eight male angels, representing Kelly Fleming, Daniel Mauser, Kyle Velasquez, Lauren Townsend, Isaiah Shoels, Matt Kechter, Cassie Bernall, Daniel Rohrbough, Corey DePooter, Rachel Scott, Steve Curnow and John Tomlin. These Angels should be about five feet six inches in height, the average size of a teenager. I donít believe the 12 Angels should resemble the students, as this would skyrocket the cost of this memorial and some parents of the students may not want to participate in that manner. However, on the outward facing side of the 13-inch trapezoid base would be a perfect spot to engrave and/or carve an image of the student the Angel represents. On the two sides that are in the arc of the circle, the name of the student with their name and birthday or any other information the parents want to put on the base can be etched in. On the inward facing side, would be a columbine flower. I chose the trapezoid base because it allows visitors to look at, and read, the information provided, without having to bend over, or step back away from the memorial to get the proper angle for reading something that close to the ground. The placement of the students is also adjustable, however, I do believe in putting Kelly, Lauren, Cassie and Rachelís female Angels at the directional arcs (north, south, east and west) of the circle with two male Angels in between them. One other request on the placement of the Angels, have Rachelís Angel face west because she wanted to do missionary work in Africa. She may not have ever traveled there, but her Angel will always look toward Africa.

With the placement of the 12 Angels in place, the focal point would be the center Angel. This Angel would also be on a 13" trapezoid base, but the base would also rotate so that the Angel would be able to look at each of the 12. This Angel represents Dave Sanders and would be roughly six feet in height. I have him on a rotating base so that his Angel would not be showing favoritism if it were stationary and only facing one way. The rotation speed could be set to 130 seconds per revolution. Once again, the base of Daveís Angel would be used to etch/carve his image and other personal information provided from his family.

Now, with all the Angels in place, I will detail the rest of the marble circle. From the center Angel to each of the 12 Angels, a cone shape would be formed, like spokes in a bicycle wheel. These spokes would be covered with one continuous slab of matching light brown marble. On this long slab of marble, friends of the Angel at whom the slab ends can have a message etched into the memorial. This is similar to the way many of Rachelís friends signed her casket during her funeral. This will make the memorial more personal and visitors would have an insight to the lives of each of the Angels. This also creates 12 empty cones, spokes, each occupying 30 degrees of the circle arc in between the 12 Angels. The empty spokes would be broken down into three even sections. The innermost section would be where memorials to Dave Sanders would be placed. The outermost section would be a carving of a columbine flower. The middle section could also have a columbine flower or be empty, as this would be the best place for visitors to stand to read all of the memorial messages.

That completes the memorial. If the 15-inch border and 15-foot circle were used, the memorial would cover seven yards. If the 13-inch border and 13-inch foot circle were used, the memorial would cover just over five yards. I read about when Greg Zanis, the Illinois carpenter who erected one of his sets of crosses on state property, a small controversy arose about having religious articles on display on state land. I would like to see this memorial placed in Clement Park where so much of the healing took place. I believe that someone in the state department could surely devise a bill of sale for seven yards of Clement Park to a single individual or group, but still maintain the upkeep of the memorial, to allow this memorial to be erected.

The name of the memorial would be "The 13 Angels of Columbine High." I know that most of this memorial is contingent on the cooperation of the families and friends of the 13 Angels, but I believe this memorial would be as powerful as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D. C. When you see all the names on that cold black marble wall, it moves you to tears. When you look at this memorial, and read the final messages to the Angels, it will move you to tears.

Thank you for your time in reviewing my idea for the Columbine Permanent Memorial. I know you have hundreds of request to review, and I know that what you and the committee decide, it will be a prefect memorial to the 13 Angels of Columbine High.

 Never Forget Always Remember