Before you read this essay...


Everyone in the country is now aware of the events and the factors involved in the tragic occurences at Columbine High school on Tuesday, April 20, 1999. I was aware of the fact that it was a terrible thing that happened and acknowledged that fact. But, it was so far removed from me, that after about a week I found myself saying, "okay, this is enough, get it off the news, I'm sick of hearing about it". Even when 3/4 of the students at my school didn't show up one day because of a bomb threat at my school, I still did not fully comprehend the reality of everything that had happened. I know now that the thoughts of how, "the media was making too big a deal" and "there is no need for all this hype", were wrong. I know now that the tragedy that occured that day is not so far removed from me as I once so ignorantly thought.

Recently, while sitting in the booth of the parking lot of the beach I work at, I was thumbing through the May 10, 1999 issue of Time magazine. In the back of that magazine, I saw the picture of a girl, sitting on a rock, head slightly tilted to the side and I was drawn to that picture. I saw in the eyes of that girl something very special, I didnt know what exactly, but I knew there was something very special about this girl. The picture was surrounded by a one page essay. More a message than an essay. It was entitled, "A Note for Rachel Scott". In reading the first few lines of the essay, I realized that this girl was one of the victims of the Columbine High School shooting. I read this essay with a deep interest. Once I had finshed reading this essay, I was bombarded by a mix emotion and confusion. This was a tribute to only one of the victims of this tragedy, and to think of all the others was too much for me. I had learned so much about Rachel Scott in reading just a few paragraphs, written by a man who had never met the girl in his life, but seemed to know her like a daughter. I realized, that this girl had so much potential, she was person that was going to make a difference in the world, and she was truly a special person.

I would like to share this essay with you. I hope you get as much from it as I did. After you are done reading, please take the time to visit the web page that Rachel Scotts family has built for her.

(Memorial Web Site For Rachel Joy Scott)


- Patrick Loftus


The Essay