In my innocence, I can remember when the only things we discussed in April were shower, May flowers and Earth Day. I know that this dates me.
April has always been a month of new awakenings. Spring comes to its fullest as the snow finally disappears and the robins can be spotted in Upstate NY. Flowers, the first of the season like daffodils, crocuses and tulips, pop up and are visible and brilliant in the hues.
Now, April is a month of horrible dates. The horribleness started almost 15 years ago when David Koresh holed up in Waco, Texas at the Branched Davidian complex. The death, fire and shoot-outs here were shocking images at the time. To some of us, they still are. Seventy-four men, women, and children died marring the spring days on April 19th, 1993.
Then came 1995. A new term was heard on newscasts across the US – home-grown terrorist. Two US citizens planned and carried out the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Another dark April 19th in US history. This one claiming 168 lives in the bombing and one life in June of 2001 as one of the planners, Timothy McVeigh, was executed.
Spring bloomed again brightly for several years. While there were memorials and memories of the death and destruction, there were no incidences until that April morning in Columbine, Colorado. Who would have thought sending a child to school, public school, could be deadly? When the two students were done shooting on April 20th, 1999, they had killed 12 fellow students, one teacher and themselves.
Now, with April finally holding the promise of spring, more death and destruction has hit. The shootings at Virginia Tech has claimed 33 lives, 32 students and faculty members and the killer – also a student.
The bright colors of those spring flowers have been overshadowed again by the blood of innocents. The red that April will claim as its in history will not be that of a tulip but that of the blood shed by those who were murder in this month of spring.