I had just graduated 2 months prior, however I still lived just off campus, had friends and employees still attending there and worked a job where I interacted with the NIU community on a daily basis.
To me it's a day of remembrance.
Remembering how the campus and community came together in the wake of the tragedy. Remembering how the building - the very lecture hall I and many others had several gen-ed classes in - was tainted due to the horrific shooting that occurred in it. Wondering why our state is one of the last to allow concealed carry as several of the ROTC students I knew at the time all said that if concealed carry were allowed any ROTC student in the lecture hall could have stopped the killer before he fatally harmed anyone in the time it took for security to arrive. Why our campus? Why our school? Why? He wasn't even a current student there! As far as we know, he didn't even know any of the victims he killed or shot!
Forward together, forward Huskies.
They did recently reopen Cole Hall at the start of this semester, after giving it a $6M facelift and renovating the inside. Like many who were around during the time of the shooting though, I'll admit, I do have mixed feelings about it.