Chardon Tribute Honors Victims, Survivors, Heroes
CHARDON, Ohio – The Chardon Board of Education was the backdrop for an emotional tribute on Monday night to the victims of the Feb. 27 rampage at Chardon High and the heroes who emerged on that terrible day.
In the grief that followed the shooting spree by accused gunman T.J. Lane, donations from the people of northeast Ohio were used to create a memorial featuring pictures of the three students who were killed and the three who survived the gunfire.
Paulette Callahan, who led the effort, told Fox 8 News, “So that nobody forgets about the ones that were killed, and the ones that were injured. So that’s (what) the main thing is, they’ll never, ever be forgotten, they’ll always be in our heart, and that’s why it’s called one heartbeat with the whole community.”
The Chardon school board was also presented with a heart-shaped plaque and a quilt as tributes to the young victims.
“It’s a symbol for our community that we’re going to make it, and unfortunately the blink that happened,” said Superintendent Joseph Bergant. “We’re going to get better, we’re going to get stronger.”
Also honored on Monday night were two Chardon students who are studying to be EMTs and used that training to help their classmates on that day.
Travis Carver, 16, and David Marks, 17, were just 20 feet away when the rampage started and provided first aid to shooting victim Joy Rickers until paramedics arrived.
They are also credited with keeping everyone around them calm.
Travis and David are cadets at local fire departments, and the events of that day have strengthened their resolve to pursue careers in public service.
Travis told Fox 8, “It’s just like, hey, somebody needs help, you help them. That’s what my parents have taught me, that’s what the fire department has taught me.”
David added, “I still love it, still want to do it, it hasn’t really affected me, just kind of showed me, hey, this is what it’s about, get ready for the worst.”
Chardon Principal Andrew Fetchik said it is the bravery of students like Travis Carver and David Marks, the strength of the three survivors, and the memory of the three students who died that has motivated the Chardon community to rise above the events of Feb. 27.