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Columbine tragedy’s 1-year anniversary to include memorial service, new book

LITTLETON, Colo. (BP)–“Rachel’s Tears,” a book by the parents of slain Columbine High School student Rachel Joy Scott, will be released April 20 by Thomas Nelson Publishers of Nashville, Tenn.

The parents, Darrell Scott and Beth Nimmo, also will host a “Columbine Redemption Service” that day from 1-2:30 p.m. Mountain time from Trinity Christian Center, Littleton, Colo., which can be viewed live over the Internet at www.ColumbineToday.com.

The memorial service will be held a year to the day when Scott and 11 other students and a teacher were slain by two gun- and bomb-wielding classmates who ended their melee by killing themselves in the school.

“We wanted a platform to thank the world for their prayers and support,” Scott said about the memorial service, which will include other victims’ family members’ participation. The service will let people know “the direction many of us are going in the future,” said Scott, who, with his son, Craig, addressed a rally preceding last year’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Atlanta.

The book, Rachel’s Tears, will be a personal account of Scott and Nimmo’s daughter’s life through the eyes of her journals and drawings and through their eyes as parents. The parents also will reflect on the effects of the Columbine tragedy on their family and community.

The book will include a section written by Craig Scott, who survived the shootings in the school library, while losing his close friends on either side and then later learning of the loss of his sister. The letter recounts how Craig remembers his sister to this day. Also in the book are other personal memories from Rachel’s youngest brother, Mike.

“My daughter’s final journal entry 40 minutes before she died was to draw an incredible picture that was prophetic about the Columbine tragedy,” Scott said. Rachel’s Tears gives specific details of the fact that Rachel did not expect to live a long life, even stating in her journal that it was her last year, while at the same time voicing her heart to love others in an extraordinary way.

The Columbine Redemption Service will honor each of the Columbine victims and their families. Various family members will speak to the invited audience about their journey through the past year. Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and singer Michael W. Smith, who will perform his pop radio single inspired by the tragedy, “This Is Your Time,” will be among those honoring the families. Youth culture expert Josh McDowell has been invited to be a keynote speaker.

“If our country does not correctly interpret what happened at Columbine, we will continue to pay an awesome price with young lives,” McDowell said, who has counseled countless students and parents and has held national discussions about root causes of “kid violence” during the past year.

“If we want ‘Columbines’ to stop, parents and legislators must look forward with specific, creative answers that will address this generation’s urgent 911 call,” McDowell said.

As outlined in McDowell’s latest book, “The Disconnected Generation: Saving Our Youth from Self-Destruction,” his new Project 911 initiative seeks to equip families and organizations to explore the beliefs and lifestyles of today’s youth in order to reconnect them and their parents.

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