'A powerful and a beautiful movement for Delaware Valley'

Students remember shooting victims on Unity Day, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine massacre


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  • From left: Jackie Urmston, Addy Ross and Bobbi Vonderheide add links to the Unity Chain (Photo provided)




  • Administrators, faculty, and staff wear orange as a gesture of unity (Photo provided)




— Delaware Valley Central School demonstrated unity, respect, and compassion for others "as we face a time of uncertainty and discord in the wake of recent events such as the shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida."

On Friday, April 20, students, faculty, and staff participated in Unity Day under the direction of the Friends of Rachel Club, otherwise known as Rachel’s Challenge. That day marked the 19th anniversary of the deadly shootings that took place at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

As a way to commemorate that mass tragedy and others, such as Virginia Tech University, Sandy Hook Elementary, and Marjory Douglas High School, everyone in the entire high school building was asked wear orange and watch a short presentation at approximately 10 a.m. Viewers were encouraged to take a moment to remember all the lives lost, as well as the victims' friends and family.

Following the presentation, students and staff members created a Unity Chain. More 1,600 people wrote down names of loved ones, inspirational quotes or lyrics, or goals for the future on strips of paper that were then strung together into a paper chain. The chain is expected to be more than 400 feet long, and is currently being stored in room C20. It will be unveiled for all to see in the upcoming weeks near the 11/12 entrance of the building.

“It was very powerful and a beautiful movement for Delaware Valley," Junior Brielle Crume said.

Sophomore Emily Ocasio thought it was “very motivational and empowering — it definitely spoke to me.”

And sophomore Faith Fox said “it was encouraging for us to stick together.”

As of now, those who have been able to see the links have noticed sayings like —

You are loved.

We live in a beautiful world (Coldplay).

Happiness is the only thing multiplied when shared – it only takes one person to make someone’s day. Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will land among the stars (Les Brown).

Many links include names of loved ones, like “Grandma.”

"All in all, the level of positivity that resulted from the entire event seemed to be overwhelming, and now the challenge will be to continue that level of respect and camaraderie for the future," says the school.



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