Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Remembering Sandy Hook


I’ve spent the last four days in much the same way everyone else in Connecticut has. Watching the news, reading updated reports online and talking to friends and family about the horrific events in Sandy Hook; and the same questions and heartbreak keep coming up.

The Sandy Hook I remember was a quiet, peaceful town. It’s been about 12 years since I visited the town. When we were state FFA officers, two officers lived in Sandy Hook, and I went to their house several times for meetings. I still remember how to get there. From all of the reports I am reading; Sandy Hook and Newtown haven’t changed much; until Friday, it still was a peaceful town.

I live next door to an elementary school. Once in a while, I’m around in the morning when the neighborhood kids are walking over to school. On these mornings, I see two little boys and one little girl race to school. They look like they are in first grade. I root for the little guy that wears the monkey hat every day, and if I’m in the yard, say hi to his father as he trails along behind, making sure his son arrives at school safely.

Two towns away, the office I work in is across the street from another elementary school. In the afternoons, I hear the sounds of the children playing outside on the playground and often look up from whatever is on my computer screen to watch them for a few minutes.

The absolute joy and innocence of children that age is fun to watch and can be contagious. And it also brings me back to the same questions that keep replaying in my head, and I’m sure the heads of everyone else. How could someone do something this horrific? How are the victim’s families; the parents, siblings and friends ever going to cope with this unimaginable loss? And what about everyone else who witnessed it and now has to put their lives back together?

I don’t have the answers to those questions, and I’m sure you don’t either. I’m sure as the days and weeks pass, there will be many conversations addressing those questions.

This week, I am focusing on honoring the memories of the children and teachers; and supporting the family and friends they left behind, because that is what each of us can do for them.

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