Candles for the Fallen

Chardon High School

February 27th, 2012, 7:30a.m.

  • 1 student stood up
  • 10 shots were fired
  • 6 bullets connected with a person
  • 3 kids were stripped of their future
  • 3 others were to be marked forever by a hole
  • A town of 5000 was forever changed

2 Years Pass

February 27th, 2014, 9:15p.m.

  • 15 degrees
  • 30 people gather around
  • 1 student stands up
  • 2 songs are played
  • 7 candles are lit
  • 7 speeches are made

Two years ago, TJ Lane stood up and fired a .22 caliber pistol into a cafeteria of peers. He killed three people that day, and injured three others. It was a terrible tragedy, but soon forgotten about by all but those effected by it. I hadn't heard about the shooting before last night. I guess it gets overshadowed by Sandy Hook, and Aurora, but it is no less tragic.

I had the privilege of partaking in a candle light vigil for the victims of the Chardon shooting last night, and I truly mean privilege.  It was a beautiful event. Beginning with a song in the freezing cold, Chardon alumni, friends, and residents gathered around a few flickering candles to pay their respects. Several people spoke. They told us about being in the school that day, attending the vigil that night, and the overwhelming support and love the felt in the wake of the tragedy. Then, a prayer was said. A final song was played and the people gathered, toughed out the deathly cold, and just survived for a moment together. Held hands. Were comforted by hugs. A broken community came together to heal.

It has been two years since the people of Chardon went through the events of February 27th. With 30 people, 7 candles, 2 songs, and an infinite amount of love, they muster on and even turn their pain into a force for good.

It doesn’t take a lot to perform an act of kindness for someone, and it can make a world of difference. Let’s turn our pain into something good.
— Kelsey Crowley, Chardon High School graduate