REMEMBRANCE ceremonies took place in Denver, Colorado over the weekend to mark the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in the US.

People left cards, bouquets and seed packets for columbines, the Colorado state flower, at a memorial that sits on a hill overlooking the school.

The site includes a stone wall with plaques featuring quotes from officials and Columbine students and teachers, with a nearby location dedicated to the teacher and 12 students who were killed.

Speakers at a ceremony on Saturday stressed the strength and change that came from the tragedy, with artist Makoto Fujimura presenting a 17th century Japanese tea bowl which was broken but then mended with gold, symbolising the creation of something better and more beautiful.

Some survivors of the attack describe the month as having an “April fog”, the anniversary remaining emotionally fraught for those who escaped without physical wounds.

ELSEWHERE, protesters in Turkey attacked the leader of the main opposition party during the funeral of a soldier killed during clashes with Kurdish rebels.

Security officials tried to escort Kemal Kilicdaroglu from the crowd as protesters hit him on the head, television footage showed.

His Republican People’s Party took control of Ankara and Istanbul, two key cities, in the country’s local elections from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party at the end of March.

The president has led a divisive electoral campaign, equating opposition parties with terrorists while portraying the elections as a matter of national survival.

MEANWHILE, in Vatican City, Pope Francis delivered his traditional Easter Mass speech, focusing on conflicts around the world while urging political leaders to put aside their differences and work towards peace.

He warned the world was becoming resigned to the conflict in Syria, lamented how children in Yemen are “exhausted by hunger and war”, and called on rival forces in Libya to “choose dialogue over force”.

In a special appeal at the end, he also expressed his “loving closeness” to the Christian community in Sri Lanka, where more than 200 people were killed in explosions at churches and hotels as Easter Mass was held.

FINALLY, firefighters in France have been honoured by the archbishop of Paris for saving Notre Dame Cathedral.

He handed over a bible rescued from the fire to the firefighters who fought the blaze for nine hours.

Fire service chaplain Jean-Marc Fournier was notably thanked for saving the chalice containing consecrated hosts that for Catholics are the body of Christ.