Spring was on its way.
Snowdrops began to blossom,
Giving hope of brighter days to come.
Yet, for many, the world was about to be plunged into the deepest darkness.
Children went to school:
Laughing, fighting, chatting, playing.
It was just an ordinary day.
Yet, for many, there would never be an ordinary day again.
For evil was looming, preparing to pounce,
And in just three short minutes it had its way
As a gym class turned to tragedy.
Gunshots and bloodshed,
Screaming and panic,
Desperate attempts to hide or to escape,
Teachers valiantly trying to protect their pupils from harm.
But the evil was relentless.
It was all too quick.
And then there was only silence.
Sixteen precious children- just five years old- would never laugh or play again.
One brave teacher lost her life.
Many more lives were altered forever.
Twenty years on and the question remains: Why?
There is no answer.
The world has moved on and lives have been rebuilt.
Survivors have grown and flourished,
Refusing to be defined forever by that childhood day of horror.
But the wounds and scars remain
As families remember.
The grief continues as, with each passing year, they mourn what might have been.
So let us remember and let us mourn with them today.
Yet let us not forget that evil will not have the final word.
It cannot have the final word.
For in the resilience and the love and the determination to overcome, there is hope,
And the snowdrops bloom.
Twenty years ago today, a gunman entered Dunblane Primary School and killed sixteen children and a teacher. While I had no personal connection to the tragedy, I was a young teenager, living in Scotland, less than an hour from Dunblane, and it had a huge impact on our whole nation.
This is a largely unedited, and certainly unpolished, attempt to honour the people of Dunblane. Please pray for those affected by this tragedy today.