Nine women in black. The veils covering their faces masking the pain. There was an eerie stillness on the hill as the coffins were carried up. Then the sobbing started.
A blanket of brokenness had fallen over the town since the shooting. Nine bodies were retrieved from the school. Eight children and the human shield that tried to protect them.
A procession followed the coffins. The whole school with the eldest survivor carrying the mascot.
The school band formed a circle round the mourners and played the school song.
Between the head teacher and the chaplain stood the survivors. Steps and stairs of ten-year-olds and two members of staff. Each one bearing the scars of that day.
Chisholm hill overlooked the school. A service was held on the anniversary. The graves formed a square with a commemorative set of benches inside it. Flowers in the shape of the school crest were laid out in the centre.
The physical wounds healed but the internal scars remain.