DENVER – Darrell Scott, whose daughter, Rachel, was among those killed at Columbine High School, is hopeful that a memorial to that event will prevent future tragedies.
"The memorial, just like any memorial where there has been a tragedy, will remind us of the evil that took place at Columbine, and like the victims of the Holocaust all of our cries are that it would never happen again," he said. "It is also a legacy for our children that we lost. I am sure I will visit it many times."
Seven years after 12 students and a teacher were slain at Columbine High School, work was to begin this week on the site, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled to be led by former President Clinton.
It has taken years to get to this point in part because parents wanted to focus first on building a new school library to replace what was the main killing field for suicidal gunmen Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.
The original plan for the memorial cost $2.5 million, but fundraising was hurt by the economic downturn that followed the Sept. 11 attacks. The cost was reduced to $1.5 million and $1.1 million has been raised so far.
The memorial, which will be in Clement Park next to the suburban Denver school, will include an inner Ring of Remembrance and an outer Ring of Healing. There will be one station for each of the 13 victims, and the words of those killed as well as messages from their families will be engraved on the outer ring.
"I think it is a wonderful way to remember people who gave their lives that day," said Marjorie Lindholm, who spent four horrifying hours in a science classroom on April 20, 1999, with fatally wounded science teacher Dave Sanders.
But Angela Adkins, Sanders' daughter, said she was bothered by the scope of the memorial and won't attend Friday's scheduled groundbreaking.
"In my opinion it is a little too much," she said. "It's important to remember the people who were lost but there comes a point when it is too much."