Cassie Bernall

by KayLea from West Saint Paul

Cassie Bernall
Cassie Bernall

Faith is to put your confidence or trust in something that you believe in, even if you can’t see it. Courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face the difficult, dangerous, and painful events. It's bravery without fear. I will be telling you about a girl’s life and how she became a martyr for her faith and how she showed her courage in a terrible situation. She was 17 years old. He stood glaring at her, his weapon before her face. “Do you believe in God?” She paused it was a life-or-death question. “Yes, I believe in God.” “Why?” asked her executioner. But he never gave her a chance to respond. The teen girl lay dead at his feet.

This scene could have happened in the Roman coliseum. It could have happened in the Middle ages. And it could have happened in any number of countries around the world today. People are being imprisoned, tortured, and killed everyday because they refuse to deny the name of Jesus. This particular story though did not happen in ancient times, nor Vietnam, Pakistan. or Romania. It happened at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, on April 20th, 1999.

Cassie Bernall was your average teenage girl. She was born November 6th, 1981 in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Her dreams and goals were to become an obstetrician and to attend Cambridge University in England. Some common hobbies of hers included Snowboarding, Photography, Rock-Climbing, Backpacking and Camping. Her favorite book was the Bible and her favorite movies were Titanic and Braveheart.

Cassie wasn’t always so cheerful and average though. Her ninth grade year she had her best friend Mona, as everyone does. One day while checking something in Cassie’s room Cassie’s mom stumbled upon some very disturbing letters. These letters were from Mona to Cassie with unprintable sex talk, along with her expression of wanting to kill one of her teachers, inviting Cassie to help her. Other allusions included occult symbols, drugs, and self-mutilation. One letter from Mona even suggested Cassie kill her parents and showed horrifying drawings portraying them being “strung up” and stabbed. Mona’s mom found similar ones from Cassie in Mona’s room. Cassie’s parents took the letters from Mona and filed them with the police department and also got a restraining order against Mona. They transferred Cassie to a Christian school where she met Jamie. She later expressed to Jamie that she felt she was stuck in bondage because she had given her soul to the devil. After awhile Jamie invited Cassie to attend a youth retreat with her, unknown to either she’d give her life to Christ. She came home and proved she had changed and was transferred to Columbine High school.

The evening of April 19th, 1999 Cassie wrote “Honestly I want to live completely for God, it’s hard and scary but totally worth it.” She handed the note to her friend the next morning, the day she died. At approximately 11:21 am, two racist neo-nazis entered Columbine High School and opened fire after killing a student outside. When they reached the library they found Cassie standing there praying where she was then asked “Do you believe in God?” She paused it was a life-or-death question. “Yes, I believe in God” Her executionist then asked “Why?” he never gave her a chance to respond the teen girl lay dead at his feet. Some survivors say they saw angels’ wings flicker light on the library walls like glitter. In total the two gunmen killed 12 students, a teacher then turned guns on themselves. Cassie died a martyr for her faith. She was a shining light, where light is easily seen due to dark nature of a world inside high school. She was a solid rock for what she believes in. Most people say they “love” Christ but how many are willing to have a faith like Cassie’s? Where even in the face of death she remained calm and did not falter from her faith and gave her life for something she believed in. My Hope is that this speech has challenged you to think what do you love enough to put your life on the line for. Cassie gave her life for her faith and because of it she’s a person, who has inspired me in more ways than one. I look up to her as hero and think she should always be remembered and commemorated. She stayed strong through Courage, Faith and Bravery. Three qualities that make a strong person. What do you love enough to give your life for?

Page created on 10/5/2009 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 10/5/2009 12:00:00 AM

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