A somber ceremony was held at Northern Illinois University this afternoon marking the anniversary of the deadly campus shooting.
Bells tolled on campus at exactly 3 p.m., the time shots rang out inside Cole Hall five years ago to the day. Five people died and 21 were hurt when a gunman, a former student, opened fire.
Families of those victims laid wreaths at the memorial site bearing the names of their loved ones. The memorials theme is Forward Together, a theme consistent with the mood on campus.
The school’s president made it clear there are lessons to be learned from the event and legacies never to be forgotten. President John Peters also said, “While they may not realize it, today’s students are touched by the presence of those five students each and every day, because what happened at Cole Hall five years ago, forever changed Northern.”
The student population present during the time of the 2008 shooting has since turned over. Hundreds of students present today were nowhere near Cole Hall when the campus became national news five years ago to the day.