PERSPECTIVE: Chardon High School: One Year Later
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Tomorrow, Feb. 27, 2013, marks the one year anniversary of the day the world stood still for students, teachers, parents and the entire community of Chardon, Ohio.
Although a full year has gone by since Demetrius, Danny, and Russell were taken from their families and friends, we mourn the loss as if only days have passed.
For many, the tears that took ages to dry will break free once again to carry the pain and memories from our scarred souls. Much like last year though, citizens throughout Chardon have selflessly offered shoulders to cry on and ears to vent to.
Instead of following the regular school day schedule, CHS found a way to turn a rough situation into a reason to give back to all of those who have kept us sane throughout the past year. Students are encouraged to participate in service projects set up in the school which include making blankets for Project Linus, making collars for the ever adorable therapy dogs, and other projects that allow students to be with their friends while also returning the countless favors done for us in the past.
The day will conclude after the student body, including the alumni of 2012, works its way to the Chardon square as the single, enduring unit it was when it returned to the school last year after the days of mourning.
Personally, I hope to replace thoughts of sadness and loss with the memories of love and support. I remember spending that Monday night one year ago within an ocean of wet eyes and swollen hearts as we stood together at the square and gave thanks for everything and anything. I knew nothing of the delayed feelings waiting to burst out of me at the time, but nonetheless I had an entire town there to catch me if I stumbled.
After the vigil that night, I spent time with my friends whom I had never been so happy to be with. These are the kind of things that I would love to see remembered today. Embrace not what pulls you down, but instead the hands that reach out and pull you back up.
I speak now to the students who huddled together in terror as all of this took place. Don't be scared. Don't be scared of how you feel or how others may be feeling. We have all been through an incredibly traumatizing event and whether you believe it or not, everyone is prepared to be understanding and caring.
Let out the words and tears and most of all, the love because everyone could use a little. Never take for granted those who are here with you today to help you through hardships and stress because we know all too well that they could be gone any minute.
Most of all, be happy. That may seem like a strange thing to say but Danny, D and Russell would have wanted to be celebrated. Celebrated with happiness and togetherness.
I hope the best to everyone; we can all get through this together.
Editor's Note: Ryan is a senior at Chardon High School. He will be attending the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University this fall.