In Memory Of
Kyle Albert Velasquez
May 5, 1982 - April 20, 1999
While Kyle was working on a computer in the school's library, the gunmen entered and started shooting. He was the first student killed.
He had a special interest in the military and showed great respect for men and women in uniform. Kyle's father was a US Navy veteran, and therefore a military honor guard attended his funeral at Fort Logan National Cemetery. Earlier, two Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps members guarded the casket while about 1,200 mourners, including Gov. Bill Owens, bid farewell to the bespectacled young man at St. James Presbyterian Church.
"I know Kyle's death is a message," Mollie Arthur, a longtime family friend, said. "We need to emulate Kyle's simple sincerity and genuine heart. We need to find our sense of purpose. We need, as parents to realize we are in charge, and our children need us to lead, and to often say, 'No."'
Kyle, a 16 year old sophomore, was in Columbine High School's program for special needs students because a stroke at birth had made him struggle with speech, coordination and memory. A neighbour said at his funeral "Special was indeed, the name for Kyle" calling him a boy of "simple sincerity and genuine heart", and friends describe Kyle as a big, happy boy, who always wore a smile. Family friends remembered a beloved boy who liked his ice cream.
He was referred to as a boy who treated others with "the utmost respect". Neighbours said that Kyle touched everyone he met. "Kyle was known as a gentle giant, and when he looked down on his parents, it was as their little boy", said Kyle's uncle. He enjoyed helping his parents with the yardwork and gardening and often helped his father with other household chores such as washing the car. He loved the Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtles, airplanes and the Denver Broncos.
Kyle was survived by his parents and an older brother, Daniel.
Click here to read an article about how Kyle's father and the father of two other slain students chopped down two memorial trees for the families of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.
KYLE VELASQUEZ PICTURES
Kyle's father, Al Velasquez
Where to make donations to Kyle:Kyle A. Velasquez Memorial Fund
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