NIU marks anniversary of shootings with bell ringing
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DEKALB, Ill. -- 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 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.
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