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NIU Marks Anniversary Of Shootings With Bell Ringing

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NIU Campus

Northern Illinois University campus (Photo courtesy niu.edu)

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DEKALB, Ill. (AP) – Northern Illinois University students and faculty along with Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday marked the six-year anniversary of deadly shootings on the campus.

“Today is a day to reflect. Six years ago today, Illinois lost five young men and women in a tragedy that shook the entire nation,” Quinn said in a statement. “We will never forget the pain and sadness that we all felt when tragedy hit home.”

The campus planned a bell-ringing for Friday afternoon at 3:06 p.m. to honor those killed Feb. 14, 2008. A former student opened fire in a lecture hall, killing five and injuring more than a dozen others. The gunman also died.

The students killed were Gayle Dubowski, Catalina Garcia, Julianna Gehant, Ryanne Mace and Daniel Parmenter.

Last year, Gov. Pat Quinn attended a special memorial wreath-laying ceremony to mark the fifth anniversary of the shooting. Administrators say this year’s event will be more subdued and only include the bell-ringing.

Quinn says Illinoisans should “always use the example of their families and community in finding strength in difficult times.”

The school also announced the recipients of a memorial scholarship worth $4,000. The university says the scholarship is among the school’s most prestigious awards, given for strong academic performance and selflessness toward others.

This year’s recipients are Kaitlyn King, of Sycamore; Juan Molina Hernandez, of Aurora; Lauren Noonan, of Naperville; Joseph Palmer, of Rolling Meadows; and Christian Villalobos, of Chicago.

The five recipients will be honored next month at a private campus ceremony.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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