Cassie Bernall, a 17-year-old junior at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, was a typical teen having a typical day, when two rampaging classmates put a gun to her head and asked her if she believed in God. She said yes.
With that simple word, the story of Cassie's courage in the face of death was catapulted into the consciousness of an entire nation. Around the world, people were quick to call her a martyr. But with all the talk about Cassie's final moment, a far more remarkable story has been left untold. Until now.
In She Said Yes, Cassie's mother breaks her silence to recount the dramatic transformation of a daughter who had once started down a troubled path similar to that of her killers. People around the world have been quick to call Cassie a martyr. But in focusing on her exchange with the gunman who killed her, the far more remarkable story of Cassie's life in the years leading up to that final, decisive moment has been left untold.
In She Said Yes, Cassie's mother describes how her daughter had, at one point, started down a troubled path similar to that of her killers, and how as parents, she and her husband risked everything to save her, only to lose her again.
Drawing on her own memories, on Cassie's letters and notes, and on interviews with classmates and friends, Bernall has created a loving but unflinchingly honest portrait of a young woman whose struggle to find meaning and purpose in life is sure to resonate with young people and parents everywhere.
She Said Yes is a story of growing up in the '90s, of peer pressure, adolescent turmoil, and the tough choices parents make. It is the story of a mother's loss - of dreams and hopes dashed by the cruel reality of death at an early age. But it is also a story of redemption more enduring than the tragedy that cut a young life short.
When 17-year-old Cassie Bernall walked into the library of her suburban high school around 11:00 on the morning of April 20, 1999, she had little more on her mind than her latest assignment for English class: another act of Macbeth. How could she know that by the end of the hour, two classmates would storm the school, guns blazing, and kill as many people as they could, including her?
As the wounded were carried from the bloody scene, several stories of bravery emerged, but one spread faster and farther than the rest. Confronted by her killers, Cassie was asked, "Do you believe in God?" She answered, "Yes."