Columbine Massacre Memorial Planned

Tue April 15, 2003 - National Edition

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) Families of the 13 people gunned down in the Columbine High School massacre unveiled plans for a memorial last week that will be built not far from the school itself.

The $3 million memorial will be located in Clement Park, next to the school, and each parent is helping to design an individual memorial to their child, the families said during a news conference.

Parents hope construction can be completed in time for the fifth anniversary of the attack next year.

"The appropriate way to honor them, remember them and pass on their stories is through a permanent memorial that shares some details about their individual lives," said Bob Curnow, whose son, Steven, was killed in the 1999 attack.

Teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold stormed the suburban high school with guns and pipe bombs. They gunned down a teacher and 12 fellow students before killing themselves in the school library.

The memorial will cover an acre. Donations will pay for the construction and nearly $600,000 has been raised in cash, pledges and offers of labor or materials.

The circular memorial will stand between two hills, both to keep it private and avoid interfering with school activities. It will have 12-foot high stone walls and an inside ring of remembrance, which will feature tributes written by the victims’ families.

Walls with running water will mute noise from the nearby park and school. Trees will provide shade.

The family of slain student Kelly Fleming has started writing the text for her spot: "She was the usual teenager in 1999, shopping, talking on the phone, hanging out at the mail. Her favorite band of the moment was N’Sync. Her movie was ’Titanic,’ and she was carrying a torch for Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio."

Brian Rohrbough, father of slain student Danny Rohrbough, said plans for the memorial had been sidetracked by lawsuits against the school and law enforcement officials. Parents also have tried to determine why the plans of the gunmen had not been detected in time to prevent the attack.

"This is as soon as the memorial could be done. It’s not too late," said Rohrbough.